A new and unique organisation has been announced today that will provide funding for gardens inspired by UK charities and not-for-profit organisations at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2022, 2023 and 2024. Project Giving Back is the vision of two private individuals who want to offer a significant springboard to a wide range of charitable causes whose work has suffered during the global Covid-19 pandemic.
Project Giving Back will team established and emerging designers, landscapers and nurseries with a range of UK charitable organisations to help raise awareness of the diverse and varied way they support people, plants and the planet.
The RHS Chelsea Flower Show, which welcomes 168,000 visitors each year and reaches millions more through the RHS website, BBC programming and wider media coverage, offers an unrivalled platform to share their stories.
Mark Fane, advisory panel member for Project Giving Back and CEO of Crocus, says: “I am honoured to have been asked to help establish this ground-breaking support scheme, working alongside experienced industry colleagues. We relish the challenge of supporting a diverse range of charities, designers, landscapers and nurseries over the next three years to help tell the stories of many amazing charities. If your organisation has always dreamed of exhibiting at Chelsea but has been prevented by the budgets the show requires, we look forward to hearing from you.”
Project Giving Back will fund eight Show Gardens at RHS Chelsea in 2022 as well as a new category, All About Plants. In total, 42 gardens will be funded at the show from 2022 – 2024, including another new category from 2023. (Applications for the show gardens category in 2022 are now closed).
Sue Biggs, RHS Director General, says: “We have seen many charities over the years create inspirational gardens at RHS Chelsea, sharing incredibly important messages, and after a very difficult year financially and emotionally for so many, this project hopes to give many more the amazing opportunity to create their own. I can’t wait to see what gardens will be created as part of this fantastic project over the next three years.”
In order to meet RHS application deadlines, Project Giving Back has announced the first three garden applications it will be supporting on Main Avenue at RHS Chelsea 2022. The charities the RNLI and Mind will both submit an application and the third will be a garden inspired by BBC series Blue Peter, which has encouraged children to enjoy gardening and the natural world for over 60 years. All three will be teamed with an established garden designer, to be announced later this year, to ensure their opportunity to exhibit at the show is as high-profile as possible. The designs will go through the usual RHS application process – being chosen by Project Giving Back is not a guarantee of a show garden site allocation.
Arne Maynard, garden designer and advisory panel member for Project Giving Back, said: “Designing and building a garden at the Chelsea Flower Show is incredibly challenging and rewarding and for many designers, myself included, it can kickstart their career. I am looking forward to helping shine a light on a diverse range of charitable projects. I am fortunate to have built a successful career doing the job I love. It’s now time to give back and this seems a wonderfully unique and rewarding way of doing just that.”