The Urban Oasis at BBC Gardeners' World Live
The Urban Oasis garden at BBC Gardeners' World Live showcases how community gardening and good design can transform bleak grey cityscapes. Creating a safe haven for children and adults to enjoy together is at the heart of this garden’s purpose. The raised beds and greenhouse highlight what a successful group activity food growing can be – the load is shared, the joy of raising food from seed soon catches on and everyone can enjoy the harvest.
This garden was inspired by a patch of grass next to some flats in north Solihull which is typical of the spare pieces of land that are currently under-utilised next to flats and houses. Elements of this garden will be re-created there after the show.
For those who want to spend time in the garden for its flowers and as a place to sit, the community has created a piece of art as their centrepiece. Apart from making a grey urban area look greener, there’s a vital social importance attached to any pockets of green in our towns and cities. It’s even been proven good quality green space can reduce anti social behaviour – and a green view can reduce stress in three to five minutes. Even the smallest patch of derelict land has the potential to be an urban oasis for people to enjoy.
Groundwork’s community workers and landscape architects spend time helping local people turn all manner of spaces into a garden, playground or community allotment – or sometimes, all three. Initiatives like the RHS’s Its Your Neighbourhood and Britain in Bloom show that many of us are willing to get out and garden for the benefit of our community.
Urban Oasis is a challenge to us all to support the green spaces in our midst wherever we live – and this year Groundwork and the RHS are working to get communities gardening and to involve more people in transforming neighbourhoods. Why not find out more about how you can support a project near you that is in need of its own urban oasis or discover how you could take action.
Take a tour of the garden with Chris: