This year, the scenery is set to be a little different at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show because flowers that will be used in the ‘microbiome garden’ will be 100% edible for visitors to try out. The main purpose of these changes and twists in some of the event's gardens is to enhance the gut health of attendees while enjoying some of the most fascinating views of plants and flowers while enjoying activities all around.
Edible Gardens to Be Displayed and Used at the 2024 Chelsea Flower Show
An edible skate park, gut health gardening, and a tropical forest full of rare and unusual plants add a new dimension to gardening in the 'All About Plants' category line-up at this year's RHS Chelsea Flower Show, sponsored by Project Giving Back. Betongpark & Urban Organic's Planet Good Earth Garden is RHS Chelsea's first edible skate park, featuring 100% edible plants and a two-tonne granite ramp among the planting.
The garden, created by a group of skaters, parents, and food growers, demonstrates how fun outdoor learning in a natural setting can improve young people's well-being and confidence.
So yes, indeed there will be edible gardens at the show this year, and it is something that has generated a lot of curiosity among readers and future visitors. The gardeners behind the 'microbiome garden' say it will be filled with flowers that can enhance gut health by being eaten or just walked past. In case you didn't know, the human microbiome – the trillions of microbes that live on and in humans, primarily in the gut – is influenced by the bacteria and other microorganisms people come across in everyday life. Chris Hull, who co-designed the garden, which will be unveiled in May shared:
“Everywhere outside, every surface of a tree, a plant, leaves, they all contain microbes. Some are good, some are harmful. If you have a diverse landscape you then come into contact with diverse microbes."
Different Types of Edible Gardens You Can Visit at This Year's Chelsea Flower Show
The Bowel Research UK Microbiome Garden, created by Sid Hill and Chris Hull, promotes gut health by providing a probiotic-rich edible wildflower meadow. Sweet dock, lupins, and camassia are heavily featured for their gut-friendly properties as the garden investigates the relationship between soil health, plant life, and the human microbiome.
Daniel Bristow's 'The Size of Wales Garden' at RHS Chelsea will feature 313 plant species, including many rare ones, to represent the diversity of tree species found in a single hectare of tropical forest. Plants include the moss-like carrot relative Azorella trifurcata along with the eyeballed pincushions of Leptinella ‘Country Park’ and the fascinating Rubus arcticus among others.
Other gardens in the category champion the joy and magic of gardens to aid mental health and inclusivity. The Panathlon Joy Garden has been designed with an uplifting look and feel to demonstrate that joy is for everyone and the Sue Ryder Grief Kind Garden provides a peaceful sanctuary in which to reflect.
Helena Pettit, Director of Shows, Commercial, and Innovation said:
“There is such a broad spectrum of ideas running through the All About Plants gardens this year and it’s great to see new takes on old trends coming to life in the designs. Whether you garden for your own health, the health of the planet, or just for the joy of it, these gardens have something for everyone with inspiration for gardeners to try something new.”
All of the gardens in the All About Plants category are supported by Project Giving Back, a one-of-a-kind grant-giving charity that supports gardens for good causes at RHS Chelsea. The designs in this category focus on unusual and specialist plants to provide a unique perspective on a garden's story.
What do you think of these new implementations of edible plants?
The RHS Chelsea Flower Show will run from 21-25 May of 2024 and tickets are available online at RHS's website.