Gardening show for people without a garden to launch on Hampstead Heath – Evening Standard

The three-day GROW London show is the brainchild of Will Ramsay, the founder of the Affordable Art Fair, who said he wanted to inspire a new breed of urban gardeners who felt excluded from traditional horticultural events such as the Chelsea Flower Show.

Ramsay, 45, said: “I hope we can do for the gardening world what we have done for the art world — urbanise it and democratise it, especially for younger people who say they don’t know anything about gardening except, ‘It’s just something my granny does’.

“It will be a good starting point for people with just a window box, or a small patio, or terrace, and inspire them to get going. We’re definitely trying to give it a bit of an edge.

“If you’ve never touched a plant in your life, here’s where you can start. Come and learn — there will be plenty of cool, contemporary gardening things you can get into.”

Former Royal Scots Dragoon Guards captain Mr Ramsay lived in Fulham for five years, where he said “we had a tiny little patio”. He now runs a country house in the Scottish borders with two acres of gardens, that was owned by his grandparents.

The show will feature four “pocket gardens” showcasing ideas for small urban green spaces inside the 54,000 sq ft marquee and there will also be talks by former Gardeners’ World presenter Chris Beardshaw, London gardening writer Naomi Schillinger and “natural gardener” Val Bourne.

The marquee’s interior is being designed by florist Shane Connolly, who decorated Westminster Abbey for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding. Exhibitors will include New Zealand supplier Boskke, which sells upside-down “sky planters”, and Barnes-based “contemporary outdoor furniture” specialist Barbed.

There is growing concern about the lack of interest in gardening among young people and last year broadcaster Alan Titchmarsh said more needed to be done reconnect young people “with apples rather than Apple Macs”.

GROW London runs from June 20 to 22 on Hampstead Heath, with entry fees of £16 for adults — £10 in advance — but free admission for children under 14.


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