08 April 2015 By Sam Duke
Thrive is a charity that uses gardening and horticulture to change lives. We visited their garden in Battersea Park to see what the gardeners had been up to. There were many projects underway, each planting bed has been carefully planned and comes with an education.
No garden would be the same without a patch you could gnaw on and this one is no different. There is a big project currently underway in this area, where-by metal grids are being dug in to the ground to keep plants manageable. It’s not just your usual carrots and potatoes that are being grown; a selection of edible flowers have also been planted, including dahlias, daylilies and tulips.
The world area showcases crops from different regions of the globe. Plants such as bamboo from South East Asia educate the gardeners and visitors on what this versatile plant can be used for. Wheat is then planted along with rice creating a real ‘back to nature’ patch.
This area is reserved for plants containing natural dyes that can be used for colouring fabrics and food. The plants are not just for show, they will be used in an exhibition... watch this space for more information.
Men’s and Women’s Health Beds
The most inspiring parts of the garden are the health beds; two separate beds with different plants catering to men’s and women’s needs. The women’s patch has plants such as ladies mantle, used to aid with menstruation and menopause, whereas the men’s patch contains plants that focus on a healthy prostate.
This bed is sponsored by Boursin, famous for their soft cheese. Most culinary herbs can be found here including thyme and rosemary, a patch that will smell divine in a few months when summer is underway.
Thrive’s large, bespoke freestanding greenhouse is used for propagation and storing tender plants such as salad and tomatoes. It’s the focal point of the garden and is bursting with life. On one side is the work of the gardeners, trays of little seedlings that are waiting to be potted on; on the other side is the flourishing RHS Chelsea crop that Thrive are growing for our kitchen garden stand at this year's show. Find out more about what's been grown for our stand here.
This new project has the gardeners very excited. It is a technique the North American Indians used to grow crops for storage over the winter. Sweet corn is planted in early April, once it has reached a certain height, beans are then planted around the corn ready to climb through it. Squashes will then be added in the same space to help mulch up the soil so there is no need for weeding. The result of this is a flourishing crop with each of the nutrients from one plant helping the others. Steve, Horticultural Therapist, commented, “it’s a bit of fun and I’m really looking forward to seeing it!”
All of these projects can be seen in Thrive’s herb garden in Battersea park. For more Thrive news and information on how you can get involved, take a look at their website here.