Press Release: Pulp Friction Awarded Garden At RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2024

Pulp Friction has been awarded a garden at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show!

East Midlands-based Community Interest Company (CIC), Pulp Friction, is heading to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May 2024 to demonstrate  the power of inclusivity through gardening. The ‘Growing Skills Garden’ is one of the popular All About Plants category exhibits and reflects Pulp Friction’s mission to challenge perceptions of people with Learning Disabilities.

Drawing of the Pulp Friction Growing Skills Chelsea Flower Show GardenThanks to its sponsors, Project Giving Back, and partnership with designers, Will Dutch and Tin-Tin Azure-Marxen of Dutch Landscape Architects, the Pulp Friction ‘Growing Skills Garden’ will give people who attend the organisation’s day service the opportunity to be front and centre of a project that could reach millions. The inequalities people with a learning disability face in the world of work will be reflected in the garden; with five trees representing the fact that just 5% of adults with a learning disability are currently in paid employment – something Pulp Friction is committed to changing.  

Operating in Nottinghamshire, Pulp Friction CIC is a social enterprise that supports people with learning disabilities and/or autism to develop work-readiness, social and independence skills. Plants used within the garden will be edible, and primarily grown by Pulp Friction Members, drawing on the organisation’s successful horticulture projects that teach members propagation and cultivation skills and promote healthy eating.  

Beth Danks, lead gardener at Pulp Friction said; “This is such an exciting project for our Members. As well as getting their hands dirty planting and growing, all of the Pulp Friction Members will have the opportunity to apply to be part of the event team; staffing the garden, running events and activities linked to the project and its relocation to Stockhill Fire Station where it will be enjoyed by the community. 

It is a huge organisation-wide effort and we are all looking forward to seeing the garden come to life and meeting our aims of creating a wonderful garden that not only looks beautiful but that challenges perceptions and creates positive change.” 

Plants & Features 

Environmental issues and sustainability are fundamental to Pulp Friction’s work – and central to the garden’s design. Recycled products will be used throughout the build, and plants will be grown using environment and animal friendly techniques. Members are growing around 1/3 of the plants to be used in the garden including Runner Beans, Herbs, Marigolds and succulents that will feature in the paths and gabions. Following the show, they will be sold or relocated back to Nottingham to continue their lifespan long after the show has ended. 

To showcase the power of collaboration and working together, Pulp Friction Members are hand-crafting elements in the garden, with the support of local craftspeople sharing their skills including: 

  • GABIONS – made using reclaimed materials from across Nottingham 
  • APRONS – made using spin art textiles created by Members 
  • TILES – made using spin-art slip created by Members 
  • BUG HOTELS – designed and built by Members 
  • BIRD HOUSES – designed and built by Members 

 

Inspiration 

“When my daughter, Jessie, and I began Pulp Friction in 2009, we had a single smoothie bike which we would take to different events across Nottinghamshire. It’s from here that we saw the potential of what Pulp Friction could be, and we’ve continued to grow and develop ever since.” Jill Carter MBE, CEO of Pulp Friction.

Dutch Landscape Architects will honour the centrifugal force of Pulp Friction’s bikes within the design of the garden, with a nod to circular motions throughout. The garden will include motifs made by the Members via spin-art bikes, as well as a halo structure made of recycled fire hoses donated through their ongoing partnership with Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, who contracted Pulp Friction to run the canteen at their Headquarters in 2015 and later the canteen at the Police and Fire Joint Headquarters in 2021.  

The plot will also take inspiration from the beauty of forest gardens to reflect the famous Sherwood Forest – remnants of which sit close to Pulp Friction’s Headquarters, and build on the model created by horticulturist, Robert Hart who had a passion to green cities and produce healthy food. The design utilises edible species and others that have secondary uses. The planting is set out over 7 layers from the soil to the canopies of the trees. This dynamic and diverse approach to planting a small garden, maximises its productivity whilst remaining a beautiful calming space. 

Jill adds “We’re very grateful to Project Giving Back for helping us take our ‘Growing Skills Garden’ to Chelsea. It is a brilliant opportunity for our Members to showcase their skills to a wider audience. We hope the space will be a place where Pulp Friction, our Members and the wider community can come together, break barriers and change perceptions.” 

 

Find out more:

Pulp Friction CIC – www.pulpfrictioncic.org.uk
Project Giving Back – www.givingback.org.uk 
Dutch Landscape Architects – www.dutch-la.com
The RHS Chelsea Flower Show – www.rhs.org.uk/shows-events/rhs-chelsea-flower-show