Hints & Tips
This summer promises to be a golden one thanks to a new project launched by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).
The RHS is celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of Britain in Bloom by giving away sunflower seeds to gardening groups up and down the country.
In National Gardening Week, which runs from April 14th – 21st, half a million seeds will be sown by gardening groups to mark the anniversary of the largest community gardening campaign in the UK, which involves more than 300,000 people.
RHS community horticulture manager Stephanie Eynon said the flowers, which can grow up to 20 feet high, symbolise the spirit and dedication of RHS Britain in Bloom volunteers.
"We're providing the seeds as a big 'thank you' to all the industrious and passionate people who work year-round to make the UK clean, green and beautiful. It is also a chance to do something big for the environment. As well as being symbolic of RHS Britain in Bloom's 50th year, these glorious fields of gold will provide vital food for pollinators this summer."
'Growing for Gold' events will be staged by RHS community gardening groups, local councils, schools and similar organisations throughout the UK during National Gardening Week.
Varieties of the pollinator-friendly sunflowers available include the Giant Single, the Moonwalker, Taiyo and Vanilla Ice.
Britain in Bloom began way back in 1964 as an initiative by the tourist board to market the country using floral displays. The campaign has widened since the RHS took the reins in 2001 and now focuses on protecting the environment and strengthening communities.
Information on how to take part in the initiative can be found on the organisation's website, http://www.rhs.org.uk/britaininbloomlaunch. If you have a group that wants to take part, online seed packs need to be ordered by March 26th.
RHS volunteers are involved in a wide range of projects, including transforming derelict land, planting up public spaces, clearing litter, removing graffiti, sowing wildflowers, holding workshops, and growing fresh fruit and vegetables for their local community.