RHS and Grow to Know join forces

Company: Grow to Know

This May, grassroots non-profit, Grow to Know, and the RHS are joining forces to celebrate the dozens of new community gardens that are created each year as gardens live on following the world famous RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

To recognise the importance of these green spaces created in schools, hospitals, and public spaces for generations to come, the RHS is naming these initiatives RHS Community Chelsea.

As part of RHS Community Chelsea, Grow to Know, is launching the first ever community garden: Life Under the Westway: Maxilla Gardens in North Kensington – to become the first RHS Community Chelsea Garden to open in association with the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, celebrating the importance of community gardens for everyone. 

Spearheaded by Grow to Know and supported by the Mayor of London and the Westway Trust, Life Under the Westway: Maxilla Gardens, is launching in association with RHS Chelsea Flower Show. The impactful, new garden design is being built for one purpose: to unlock access to green space in the local community and will be opened to the community in early June. 

Located under the Westway, the birthplace of Grow to Know - and just a stone’s throw away from the RHS Chelsea Flower Show showground in the same borough, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, the garden will create a much-needed and valued space for the local community, with the Westway Trust being involved throughout development as custodians of the land. Grow to Know is transforming the existing Maxilla Gardens into a new, revived, and accessible space for local residents to visit and enjoy, free of charge.

Inspired by the social effects of life under the Westway in 1970, the garden tells stories of the past and the present, whilst also seeking solutions for continuous and current environmental and social challenges faced in the local area. Innovative design creates an abundance of undulating, meandering and swathing greenery for wildlife, with repurposed materials used to create the pathways and features, inspired by the industrial development of the past.

With the form of a helix threading through the space, the interweaving pathways embed the DNA of the community within and through the garden, further amplifying the rich history of life under the Westway. A space for people and planet, key features include: a green installation ‘the helix’; bespoke furniture as well as a tapestry of planting contributed by Gucci, living on in the community from the set of its Gucci Cruise 2025 Fashion Show held at Tate Modern. The garden is at the crux of community development - poised as the front garden of Dale Youth Boxing Club, Bay20 Community Centre and the incoming Maxilla City.

The design and delivery team is comprised of Grow to Know, Westway Trust, SuDS UK, Cameron, George King Architects and Wylie Wood. Funding from the Mayor of London’s Future Neighbourhoods programme, via Kensington and Chelsea Council, supported the revitalisation. 

Tayshan Hayden-Smith, Founder and Creative Director of Grow to Know, said: “I couldn’t be prouder for Grow to Know to be leading on the first ever RHS Community Chelsea Garden in association with RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2024 – the first time in its 111-year history – to demonstrate the importance of community gardens when the world’s eyes are on UK horticulture. As the RHS ambassador for Young People and Communities, I feel a sense of duty and commitment to the people who could really do with the benefits and magic of having access to nature -.

“Following the detrimental impacts of the local injustice, the Grenfell Tower fire, the global pandemic, and the current cost-of-living crisis, we wanted to create a safe sanctuary of real meaning to uplift the community of North Kensington - not just to survive, but to thrive and bloom, alongside nature and wildlife. It is by embedding and highlighting stories of both past and present that will help guide our future. As this is the first community garden of its kind coinciding with RHS Chelsea Flower Show, we look forward to inviting the community to enjoy the space, free of charge, and for a lifetime.”

Clare Matterson, RHS Director General, said:  “Simply being in a garden, surrounded by beautiful flowers and being nourished by the earth can impact our lives.

“As a charity that supports thousands of community garden projects and sees the joy, peace, solace and healing power that community gardens can bring people, we hope that this space created by Grow to Know and the teams working with the local community, is somewhere the families and people who live here come to love and feel part of for generations to come. 

“Grow to Know is opening this new community garden as part of RHS Community Chelsea, celebrating our combined belief in the power of community gardens as a force for good, with dozens of new public gardens being created around the country each year with Show Gardens living on in new homes after the RHS Chelsea show.”

Venu Dhupa, CEO at the Westway Trust, said: “The Westway Trust is here to encourage a happier, healthier, and more prosperous community and is really excited to support this community led project, which will improve the space for use by the people of North Kensington and visitors to the area.  The garden will also be a focus point for events and activities and for us to draw attention to important environmental issues, such as air quality.  It is part of a wider ambition to transform this area of the Westway Estate, complementing other projects and create more space for families, reflection, and well-being.”

Life Under the Westway: Maxilla Gardens has been designed by Grow to Know alongside landscape design and build partner, Cameron Gardens, with further support from a community of brands, including DK,  Second Home and Mercedes Benz Vans, all of which are invested in supporting Grow to Know’s mission to provide a greener future.

Residents of North Kensington and the wider community will have access to the garden from the first week of June.

For more information, please visit: @growtoknow.world or contact growtoknow@wcommunications.co.uk.

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