Taking our mission to the Chelsea Flower Show

We want every child to be able to explore, learn and enjoy nature. In fact, we’d like every school to have its own garden.

In May, we’ll be taking our message to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, as we present a special garden that celebrates children’s access to nature. Our award-winning garden designer, Harry Holding, is translating and transforming our vision for children into a beautiful garden, and 80% of the plants will be edible!

The very best part of this exciting project is that, once the show is over, the garden will be relocated and reimagined at two primary schools - one in London, the other in Liverpool, giving the children and their communities a magical space to learn about plants and nature.

Huge thanks to Project Giving Back for funding the creation of our Chelsea garden, the River Café for the garden relocation, and Whole Kids Foundation for enabling School Food Matters to be at Chelsea every day to talk about our work and mission to teach children about food.

We will be sharing the story of the garden as it progresses, and the stories of the two schools that will be benefiting from it. Follow it all on social media (and share!) with the hashtag #OurEdibleClassroom, and sign up here for our web updates:

“Every school should have a garden”

All the children in this film have access to a fabulous school garden, where they can explore, learn and enjoy nature, but they’re the lucky ones.

The garden design

The School Food Matters Garden, designed by the amazing Harry Holding Studio, will create an immersive, forageable and naturalistic landscape for children to learn and explore. The garden will be in the ‘All About Plants’ category - and together we have made sure it is all about food, with edible plants woven throughout the design, the majority of which will be drought tolerant and resilient for a changing climate. It will feature child-sized paths to guide children through the garden, as well as a small pond surrounded by boulders and rammed earth walls. The walls will be inscribed with direct quotes from the children, reflecting what nature means to them. Click here for more detail about Harry Holding’s design.

The School Food Matters Garden

Relocating the garden

All organisations supported by Project Giving Back at RHS Chelsea Flower Show are asked to relocate their gardens after the show to ensure it has a lasting legacy. It comes as no surprise that we wanted ours to end up as an amazing learning resource for school children. So we reached out to over 700 partner schools, offering them the chance to apply for the garden. After careful consideration, we selected two schools we felt would benefit most from the garden and ensure it thrives: Alec Reed Primary School in Northolt and The Beacon CE Primary School in Liverpool.

Alec Reed Primary School

Alec Reed Primary has participated in our Honeybee programme. The school shares our passion for outdoor learning and introducing children to nature, and benefits from extensive grounds. But the outdoor space lacks any plants, habitats or wildlife for the children to explore, so we’re able to make a real difference! Alec Reed’s Chelsea Garden will be placed on a grass section near to the centre for early years, primary children and pupils with special educational needs (SEN). Children from the age of three, many of whom live in nearby estates and tower blocks, will have access to a beautiful outdoor classroom and somewhere to relax and enjoy nature.

Alec Reed's Pupil Voice Lead Katie White shares the school's vision for the garden in this blog.

  • Proposed site for SFM Garden relocation
    Proposed site for SFM Garden relocation
  • Proposed site for SFM Garden relocation
    Proposed site for SFM Garden relocation
  • Local area
    Local area
  • Alec Reed pupil looking forward to new garden
    Alec Reed pupil looking forward to new garden

The Beacon CE Primary School

We worked with The Beacon last year on our Young Marketeers programme in Liverpool. Despite being short on outdoor space and gardening equipment, the school managed to make the most of the project, by being incredibly resourceful, even using milk bottles as plant pots! Since participating in our Young Marketeers programme, the student-led Eco Committee has tripled in size and the school is eager to build on this enthusiasm. The whole school is looking forward to the Chelsea Garden increasing biodiversity and giving more children the chance to grow food and learn all about the wonders of the natural world.

The Beacon’s Deputy Headteacher Emma Rowley shares the school's vision for the garden.

  • Proposed site for SFM Garden relocation
    Proposed site for SFM Garden relocation
  • Space for growing
    Space for growing
  • Playground seating area
    Playground seating area