The RHS, of “we’re the RHS, come to our flower shows and gawp at the C-list celebrities we’ve roped in to turning up and waving” fame, have got a new project. But while it’s easy to be cynical about some of the excesses (albeit often delightfully silly excesses) of some of the Royal Horticultural Society’s other pet projects, this new one seems like a really sound idea. They are campaigning for more gardens – for children.
In an era where the headlong rush away from everything which isn’t digital can become overwhelming, it’s nice that 16,000 primary schools across the UK have signed up to take part in the RHS’ Campaign for School Gardening,
The project is designed to get children excited by gardening, even at schools which are a long way from the nearest veg patch. While schools with plentiful garden space can take part in fun projects like building their own wartime Anderson shelters complete with a roof covered in heritage vegetables, urban schools aren’t getting left out either. Spaces which have been ingeniously converted into gardening space include school roofs in Tower Hamlets.
Parents are getting involved too, being shown which end of a shovel to shove at Get Your Grown-Ups Growing events. "The charity was worried about the loss of gardening skills," says Claire Custance of the RHS, "and we wanted to ensure these were transferred to the younger generation. What's more, most young people don't see gardening as a career to be proud of."