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Planning your plot with RHS gold winner Zoe Claymore

by | 08 Jan 24 | Garden Design, News, Opinion

It was only last June when we first sat down with garden designer Zoe Claymore to discuss her RHS Hampton Court Show Garden, The Wildlife Trusts’ Renters Retreat.

A project that would go on to earn the rising designer a hat-trick of awards, including the coveted People’s Choice Award, along with “many new opportunities”, which included the launch of her own renter-friendly steel raised beds, in partnership with Lux Unique. 

She continues to empower renters to get into gardening through her new role as an ambassador for the National Allotment Society (NAS).

Renters Retreat, RHS Hampton Court. © the Wildlife Trusts

Working with them to “promote rental garden design through allotments,” using her own London based plot as what she calls the “guinea pig”, in a series titled How to Plan Your Plot.

“It provides people with bitesized steps of how to plan their growing space, with principles people can use regardless of size or ownership status.

“A third of people rent their homes – why should they be limited?”

With over eight million households in England alone in rented accommodation, the cost-of-living crisis, and the decline in biodiversity, Claymore hopes the series will “help people make good choices for themselves and the planet by reducing long term consumption and saving themselves time and money.”

“We are all renters really as the land is here before we are born…We need to start thinking not only that we can design rented spaces but actually that in fact all spaces are themselves rented.”

With weekly 90 second, step wise videos on different topics for how to plan your space, Claymore will be documenting the evolution of her plot in real time, available to watch on the designers Instagram and YouTube pages.

Garden designer, Zoe Claymore

Starting with Sizing Up Your Site, published back in December- with more to follow over the coming months as the designer continues to vlog her renovation experience in partnership with the National Allotment Society

She comments that her role as ambassador is “new to the Society which we [Claymore and the NAS] will be shaping over the coming months.

“Our goal is to help raise the profile of the work the Society does, helping to promote and preserve allotments- particularly on social media.”

It is no secret the industry is facing a skill shortage, Claymore hopes the series will “attract a younger demographic of gardeners to the society,” and in turn a career in horticulture.

The gold-medal winner accredits her new role as ambassador to her RHS Hampton Court Show Garden, saying it “wouldn’t have happened without it.”

Claymore’s RHS accreditation doesn’t end there though- the RHS named her one of their horticultural heroes of 2023, an accolade the designer was “delighted but rather stunned by.”

And while she tells us not to expect her at this year’s RHS show line-up, we’re told to “watch this space” for 2025. 

“If there is a cause I care about then I’ll give it my all.”

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