Children calling on nation to help ‘Save our Planet’ at RHS Hampton Court

July 11th 2021

The next generation is using Gardens at RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival, 5 – 11 July, to raise awareness of the climate change crisis and urgent need for the nation to help ‘Save our Planet'.

The RHS Garden for a Green Future at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival is throwing the spotlight on the impact of climate change on UK gardens and gardeners. At a photocall at the Garden on Monday 5 July, Rose, aged 8 and her brother Charles aged 6 held a poster made at their school with other pupils saying ‘Save our Planet’ and called on the nation to mitigate climate change through gardening.

The RHS Garden For a Green Future, designed by Jamie Butterworth, is a demonstration of adapting to, and embracing, climate change. The future of the quintessentially British garden is changing, and this space aims to encourage people to adjust and improve their approach to gardening within a changing climate. Mounding landforms undulate throughout the space, decorated in drought-tolerant perennials and tough meadow mixtures. These are broken up with dry river beds that are full of water during winter flooding, but in July are mostly dry, arid areas where only cobbles, shingle, pebbles and self-sown flowers subsist. Gone are perfectly manicured lawns, replaced by low maintenance, biodiverse meadow mixes.

In the Extinction Garden, which addresses the 6th Mass Extinction threat to our planet caused by our continual exploitation and destruction of its natural resources, features a recently crashed aircraft.

To jolt people into both understanding the scale of the crisis and to appreciate the extent of the behavioural change that we need to affect, a photocall at the garden saw children in deflated life jackets tentatively emerging from the wreckage door through clouds of 'smoke' and into the bright light of day.

Like the primordial planting in the garden, they too are survivors - the new generation who will emerge from this extinction threat and change the way we live to save our planet.

Rose said: “In school we talk about climate change and how it is destroying our world. We know we need everyone to change and we believe that everyone can make a difference by growing more plants to help fight pollution and feed bees and make things better. We want everyone to help save our planet by doing good gardening and growing more plants.

RHS Director of Science, Alistair Griffiths said: “Fundamentally, the Garden for a Green Future, is to inspire and educate gardeners to adapt their outdoor space for the future. Our RHS scientists have been involved in its creation, sharing their knowledge on using water sustainability, the importance of peat free and how we need to grow different plants as we adapt to a changing climate and try to do more to mitigate this crisis.

Source: RHS Press Release