I have been working, with my team, on this garden for a year, but until now, it has all been under wraps. It’s so good to be able to share with you, ‘The New Blue Peter Garden: Discover Soil’!
Of course, Blue Peter has a long tradition of gardening. Those of us, of a certain age, will remember with fondness, Percy Thrower’s Italian Sunken Garden and young horticulturalists will tune in now, whenever features are filmed from the current garden at Media City, Salford.
Our new garden, is being launched at Chelsea in May, but its home will be the RHS Garden at Bridgewater in Worsley. Immediately after the show, all the elements will be transported up the M40 to be rebuilt and replanted. It is this permanence and the unusually young audience for this garden, which has inspired me to theme it ‘Soil’.
“Not the most exciting subject for a garden”, you may be thinking. Most people say to me,
“So, is it mostly BROWN?!”
I just got to thinking about gardens for children. Usually, they reflect a carefree exploration of the world; a naive wonder. Primary colours, swings and roundabouts.
But, I think there is a certain seriousness to many children; they have a lot to think about. As a generation, their future is far from carefree.
With this garden, I wanted to speak to an issue that concerns many young people – the state in which their parents and grandparents are leaving the world to them. I hate to be a ‘Debbie Downer’, but it is a bit of a mess.
Then, I got to thinking about the Chelsea Flower Show itself. We all know it’s a bit fantastic, the clue’s in the name, ‘Show’. But, it upsets me that even as growers, horticulturalists, and designers, we hide the most important part of the show. That thing upon which everything, including our lives and livelihoods depends….SOIL!
With this garden we will be celebrating soil; raising it up to eye level and taking the visitor down to see, smell and hear it. You will be invited to think about the science of soil, the beauty of soil; its life and fragility and its future.
Soil is amazing!
We all depend on it…let’s discover more about it and learn how to look after it.