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Royal Horticultural Society will Sow the Seeds of

Friendship for National Gardening Week 2020
by RHS
March 8, 2020

Encouraging everyone to make friends through gardening is the theme of this year’s National Gardening Week (27 April–3 May 2020)

On National Make a Friend Day, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has announced that the theme for this spring’s National Gardening Week will be Sowing the Seeds of Friendship. For the nation’s biggest celebration of gardening (27 April–3 May 2020), the RHS is calling for gardeners up and down the country to join in events, check out their local gardening clubs, organise gardening gatherings and conquer loneliness by making friends through horticulture.

Now in its ninth year, the event has grown in popularity every year with National Gardening Week 2019 seeing thousands of people sharing their ‘passion for plants’ on social media.

A recent OnePoll Survey commissioned by the RHS showed that 52 per cent of people in Britain have experienced feeling alone. More than half of adults enjoy being surrounded by greenery and a further 53 per cent said it boosts their mood. As a result, 59 per cent agreed being a member of a community group would make them feel less lonely and a quarter said it would boost their confidence.

And more than a sixth of those polled wish there were more social groups in their community to join. Guy Barter, Chief Horticulturist, RHS, said: “Through our campaigns such as Britain in Bloom, we already know that gardening is a superb way to make friends and meet new people. Gardening with others creates a strong sense of companionship and camaraderie, and lifelong bonds often flourish from something as simple as sowing seeds in the ground. This year we hope National Gardening Week will lead to hundreds of budding new friendships.”

The theme reflects the ethos of the RHS Garden for Friendship which will feature at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show (19 - 23 May), aimed at celebrating how you can make great friends through gardening.

In 2020, the RHS hopes even more people will get involved in National Gardening Week and register their events at www.rhs.org.uk/nationalgardeningweek.

Registration will open soon, with everyone invited to upload their events and activities to the website and discover hints and tips for taking part.

Guy Barter offers the following tips to those who are wondering how they can get involved:

• Join a local gardening club – or create one!

• Get involved with your nearest RHS Britain in Bloom community group

• Invite your neighbours to a party in your garden

• Volunteer at an RHS Garden or other garden

• Learn from others about gardening, share a passion for growing plants, text or post pictures of plants with friends

For more ideas and advice, see the National Gardening Week website.

The aim of National Gardening Week is to raise awareness of the difference that gardens and gardening can make to the lives of everyone in the UK, and to inspire more people to experience the joy of growing and visiting beautiful green spaces. The four RHS Gardens will be leading the campaign, with other gardens, societies, charities and organisations across the nation encouraged to join in and hold their own events.

The Royal Horticultural Society, the world’s leading gardening charity, was founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood. Our vision is to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place. This aspiration underpins all that we do, from inspirational gardens and shows, through our scientific research, to our education and community programmes such as Campaign for School Gardening and Britain in Bloom. We produce key publications, hold a world-class collection of horticultural books and botanical art, and sell the very best plants and gardening gifts.

The RHS is fundraising £40m to transform our gardens, outreach and education facilities, which includes redeveloping our flagship RHS Garden Wisley and opening a new garden, RHS Garden Bridgewater, in 2020. We are solely funded by our members, visitors and supporters. For more information visit www.rhs.org.uk.

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