We found ourselves bringing a bit of street culture to the affluent borough of Chelsea at the Chelsea Flower Show this year. The kids at co-ed Knightsbridge School scooped up the Silver Gilt award for their garden, visited by her majesty the Queen I hasten to add, in the new section titled ‘RHS Environment’. They represented just what urban greening is all about and we were honoured to be helping out.
The flower show attracts people in their thousands from all around the world flocking to see the newest creations in horticulture. Visitors could be forgiven for thinking they had taken a wrong turn as the Knightsbridge school’s garden certainly stood out amongst the more traditional methods of cultivation. Their efforts were met with warm applause and a true appreciation of the garden’s philosophy and even the Queen stopped by to take a good look and accept a posy of flowers from two of the school children.
Using recycled materials the school came up with ingenious ideas. They planted flowers, vegetables and shrubs in anything from old trainers to discarded car parts and even fashioned a water feature from unused rain water piping. They wanted to create a feeling of urban space and that’s where we came in. Our graffiti artists got to work on a faux brick wall which provided the backdrop for the garden, painting it with vibrant graffiti style lettering and giving the garden a truly authentic street feel. Cartoon wildlife characters stressed the importance of conservation in a light hearted way such as a ladybird complete with headphones and a bumble bee with the caption ‘bee the change you want to see’ written in graffiti style lettering next to it; a comical play on Ghandi’s famous quote. (Not sure about this bit)
Named ‘Planting the Idea’, the school’s space was created to inspire children and grown-ups a-like living in inner-city areas to pull their sleeves up and get gardening no matter how small your garden may be. The kids were taught about the importance of attracting wildlife when designing the garden and how selective plants can counteract the effects of pollution.
It was a great project to be involved in and all the guys at Graffiti Life were really impressed with the end result. Well done Knightsbridge School!