This immersive garden designed by Harry Holding was created to highlight the importance of a healthy, sustainable diet for all of us, but especially for children who are still developing and growing.
This is why the charity School Food Matters partnered with Harry and went on to win the RHS Peoples Choice Award at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2023.
School Food Matters educates children about the importance of a healthy diet, as well as tackling climate change and creating sustainable school meals with children's health at the heart of the matter. The garden highlights why children need to be represented in the discussion of sustainable food production.
Harry Holding, director of Harry Holding Studio, said: “With the cost of living crisis and rising food prices, small-scale food production is on the increase within the nation’s gardens. This does not mean you have to sacrifice beauty for practicality and convert your outdoor space into regimented productive rows – edible plants can be incorporated into a gorgeous garden too. Our School Food Matters Garden will show how these edible and forageable plants can be used creatively, as well as capture the importance of children engaging with planting and growing, and the huge pleasure this brings.”
Designed as a forageable, naturalistic and immersive landscape, the garden encourages children to explore the variety of edible and climate-adapted plants along the 'child sized' paths. The planting consists of 80% edimentals (ornamental edibles).
The winding paths were designed for children to imagine their way through a captivating world, over small boulders, around pools of fresh water, surrounded by tactile rammed earth walls adorned with quotes of children on their views of Mother Nature and the climate crisis. These profound quotes were the focal point of the entire garden and evoked much curiosity from RHS Chelsea visitors.
Building the tactile rammed curved earth walls was a new challenge for us, at Landscape Associates. Using sustainable and eco friendly materials that have 85% less embodied carbon than conventional building materials such as concrete, we faced challenges of making the walls curved whilst still being robust and attractive. We thoroughly enjoyed working with Harry and his team on this project.
The garden has been relocated at two school gardens, one in North London and the other at a school in Liverpool where it continues to provide for growing children, both in education and in actual, forageable nutrition.
Photography: Landscape Associates