Crabtree & Evelyn Presents „The Avant Garden“ in London

An oasis in the middle of a metropolis: The installation “The Avant Garden” by Crabtree & Evelyn is blooming in London’s Covent Garden Market. The project at this year’s Chelsea Fringe Festival has been developed by Emma Coleman, a rising star of garden design. “The Avant Garden” is a celebration of the 15th anniversary of the Crabtree & Evelyn “Gardener’s Collection” and the 40th anniversary of the company.

The flower pots of the Avant Garden are made of wood and corton steel which develops an old withered look during the time of the installation. The selection of plants is inspired by classic herb gardens. One central topic of the project is water supply. Every pot stands for a certain amount of water consumed in everyday life. This is supposed to raise consciousness about the people’s water use.

Anna Paganelli, project leader of the Fringe Festival commented: “The Chelsea Fringe Festival helps to present new British talents, companies and communities to the public showing their love for gardening. It was fantastic to build this project and I hope that lots of people will enjoy this exhibition at this famous spot in London.”

Crabtree & Evelyn was founded 1973 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The company offers lotions, scents, small gifts and gourmet food. The “Gardener’s Collection” is a product line inspired by nature with natural ingredients and extracts from plants like rosemary, lavender and sage.

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Boskke Sky Planter: Growing Plants Upside Down

The Sky Planter provides a new approach to arrange indoor green: With the flower pot from the New Zealand company Boskke plants and flowers hang overhead – a nice change to the usual method of letting them grow upwards.

A locking disc and mesh holds the upside down plant and soil in place and allows the plant to hang from the ceiling. Its internal reservoir system feeds water gradually to the plant roots. This conserves water, saves time and brings a new aspect to ‘urban gardening’.

Ready-grown plants are simply taken out of their pots and inserted into the Sky Planter. Once locked in place, the pot is turned upside down and suspended from a securely fastened ceiling hook. Extension wires and wall mounts are also available for high ceilings or wall-hung planters.

The Boskke website gives a few inspirations on which plants can be fitted into the Sky Planter and how they will thrive best. Boskke is an exhibitor at the spoga+gafa 2013 and you will have a chance to get an impression of the Sky Planter.

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Chelsea Flower Show Celebrates its 100th Anniversary

This week, the Chelsea Flower Show opened for the 100th time to the public. From May 21st to 25th over 500 exhibitors are showing exciting new plants and fabulous garden ideas. The best garden designers in the world will present amazing extensive displays and inspirations for small spaces alike.

Queen Elisabeth herself is the patron of show organizers “The Royal Horticultural Society” and has already visited the Chelsea Flower Show on Monday, together with many members of the royal family. The forget-me-not show garden is in aid of Prince Harry’s charity Sentebale, which helps impoverished children in Lesotho.

The vote for the Plant of the Century is another highlight. Ten plants, each representing one decade, were chosen beforehand by a panel of horticultural experts and the public can cast their votes online for their favorite.

There is also an iPhone App available on iTunes, which will give you full details on every exhibitor and garden present at the show.

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Seed Mixtures Support Bees

The mass dying of bees in central Europe and in many other parts of the world is not only a problem for beekeepers every year but a severe danger for the whole ecosystem. Many reasons are given for this phenomenon, like parasites, viruses, foulbrood or pesticides, but hardly any solution has been found, yet.

This may now change as the School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences in Bern, Switzerland (HAFL), developed special seed mixtures with plants providing bees with enough nutrients in difficult periods. The project was supported by apisuisse, the Inforama Rütli, the farmers’ associations of Bern and Switzerland and fenaco/UFA-Samen.

Bees are especially in trouble finding food when their main sources like rapeseed, dandelion and fruit are withered and before the forests supply them with “food”. The meadows growing from the Swiss seed mixtures help the bees to be nourished in these critical times – helping them to survive with positive effects on their development, health and defense constitution.

The seed mixtures were tested and compared to conventional meadows with wild herbs: five times more honeybees and two to three times more wild bees approached the Swiss meadow! Another advantage is that the seeds easily grow on all kinds of soil, either poor or rich.

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From Grey to Green: Europe’s largest Sky Garden opens to the Public

An exciting project is developing in Berlin right now. In the middle of the densely populated German capital a group of volunteers are building Europe’s largest community roof garden on a parking deck. The 12.000 m² surface has not been used since 2003. 22 meters above ground level vegetables, fruits and herbs will be growing in the near future on euro pallets, in carton boxes and in rice bags.

Everybody can join in; there will be community beddings which can be cared for by groups of people and other lots which can be rent. The main idea behind the Himmelsbeet (Sky garden), as it is called, is that people are being brought together through working with natural resources and that city dwellers learn how to  produce own food from regional grounds. Schools and kindergardens can go there to teach the children about planting and growing, there will be workshops about gardening and even a café on the rooftop. The demand is high for such a project, there are already waiting lists for the beddings.

The project is depending on donations, the organization is non-profit based and needs support. The company Neudorff is donating soil and other materials.

The roof garden will be open for the public in May and the initiators are more than excited about. this europewide unprecedented gardening project ; if it were successful it could be a great example for other cities worldwide. 

Further Information:  Himmelsbeet / Neudorff