Horticultural healing in Africa GardenAfrica – sowing the seeds of change

  • 4 June 2021 4:46 pm


Horticultural healing in Africa – GardenAfrica – sowing the seeds of change

GardenAfrica, a UK registered charity, is replicating its groundbreaking work in Africa at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show. Their garden will showcase innovative design incorporating nutritious foods and medicinal herbs thus creating an African Eden in the heart of London.

The campaign launch at Chelsea Flower Show will herald the start of 5 years work to reduce poverty and malnutrition in Africa by creating 1001 training and resource gardens across Southern Africa. Their work to date has attracted the praise and backing of a number of high profile supporters including Anita Roddick and Bill Nighy, as well as from the Elton John Aids Foundation and the UK’s Dept of Environment Food & Rural Affairs (Defra).

GardenAfrica has also cultivated a pivotal relationship with botanical & scientific experts at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew who are providing the majority of plants from their extensive collection. This expertise, added to substantial local knowledge, is fundamental to the creation of training gardens which address specific local needs. The Eden Project has also generously loaned some indigenous African plants from their collection. Indeed the garden, after the Chelsea Flower Show, will be relocated to the Eden Project, hopefully to be incorporated into plans for their proposed Dry Tropics Biome.

Designed by Alan Capper, this unique garden will be brought to life in partnership with Ross Allan, in close consultation with GardenAfrica’s training partner, Zimbabwean John Nzira, an expert in natural African farming & sustainable resource management. The Show garden design will then return to its African roots where it will form the basis of further training.

Their planting focuses on counteracting widespread malnutrition and utilises medicinal herbs for treating debilitating HIV-related and other infections. Consideration is also given to specific local traditions & climactic conditions.

Once established 1001 gardens can yield 500,000 new home and community gardens, from which around 3 million people can reap their benefits. The average cost of sponsoring a garden is only £10,000.

Their garden will bring an authentic African feel to the Chelsea Flower Show and announce GardenAfrica’s quest to establish a sustainable nutritional and medicinal legacy on the continent.

To support GardenAfrica’s work you can visit their website at www.gardenafrica.org.uk