Author Topic: Christian Aid plants seeds of hope at Hampton Court Palace Flower Show  (Read 2215 times)


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International Development Agency Christian Aid has confirmed it is exhibiting a new show garden at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Hampton Court Palace Flower Show (6-11 July 2004).  The garden is being created by award-winning designer Claire Whitehouse and will highlight Christian Aid’s Trade Justice Campaign as well as appeal to the publics’ increased interest in growing vegetables and self-sustainability.  It will also complement the show’s new fruit and vegetable marquee open over the event’s final weekend.

The designer been inspired by a trip she made to Senegal with Christian Aid in December 2003.  Where Claire witnessed the plight of market gardeners, who like many others in the developing world, are suffering from unfair trade rules.  Farmers in Senegal are able to grow a wide variety of vegetables and fruit that ought to provide them with a good means for making a living.  However, western countries are forcing Senegal to open up its markets.  This means Senegal is importing increasing amounts of heavily subsidised vegetables from Europe and America including onions, tomatoes and potatoes.  This makes local produce seem expensive and makes it almost impossible for farmers to sell their crops.  

Christian Aid’s show garden at the RHS flower show will feature three main areas. There will be a small market garden where a wide range of crops are grown, including familiar vegetables such as onions and tomatoes, as well tender vegetation uncommon in Britain, even under glass, such as African or bitter aubergines, peanuts, cowpeas and okra. The plants will be displayed in a striking grid in the soil to conserve water.

There will be a colourful market scene to show how these crops are sold, and the competition that they face from foreign imports.  There will also be a display of colourful fabrics and household goods that are often found in West African markets.  Lastly, there will be a small area of the garden around a commercial building covered by Bougainvillea and Ipomoea showing some of the wide range of tropical plants that are available in Senegal.

A range of celebrities have already expressed interest in visiting the garden.  These include chef and food writer Hugh Fearnly-Whittingstall, who is well known for his interest in sustainability as well as trade justice, and actor, playwright and Christian Aid’s Trade Ambassador Kwame Kwei-Armah.   There will also be a press launch with live Senegalese Jazz.

The Christian Aid garden is designed to raise awareness among the public of the need for Trade Justice.  By joining the campaign and supporting Christian Aid’s work, visitors to the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show will be able to offer seeds of hope to poor farmers around the world and help plant a better future for generations to come.  

To see the garden and the rest of the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, call the ticket hotline on 0870 906 3791 (Public line), or 0870 906 3790 (RHS Members’ line).  For further details of the show or for online booking, visit


For more information please contact:

Kate Wills on 020 7523 2446

14 April 2004

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