An exclusive reception was
held at the Abbey Hotel in Bath to preview the highlights of the National Gardening Show.
Attended by over a hundred leading figures from Bath and the South West business
community, the reception was held in the Hotels newly refurbished Abbey Hotel and
Allium Brasserie. Purchased by acclaimed boutique hoteliers, Ian and Christa Taylor, in
January 2012, the Abbey Hotel has been transformed in the past few months, into a stylish
destination. As part of this, Chris Staines, Chef/Patron, with a stellar background
including a Michelin star, has been appointed to launch the Allium Brasserie which,
with its all day dining and innovative menus, has already in a short time become one of
the top 5 restaurants in Bath, according to Trip Adviser.
Maw, Alan Lyons, Christa Taylor, Paul Hooper & Ian Taylor
Guests were warmly welcomed
by Ian Taylor, who commented: "We are delighted to be involved tonight as one of the
sponsors for the National Gardening Show. One of our core values at the Allium Brasserie
is using top quality, fresh, seasonal produce, sourced as locally as possible
values which are shared by the food and gardening lovers who visit the show. By having a
strong presence at the event, we will be reaching an audience who will enjoy dining with
us and the dishes created by our head chef, Chris Staines".
enjoying the wonderful hospitality and the speeches
Ian then introduced Annie
Maw, the Chair of the National Gardening Show who spoke movingly about the events
formal charity this year Horatio's Garden Friends. Led by the Southern Spinal
Injuries Trust (SSIT) and launched at the National Gardening Show two years ago, the
Appeal was established to create an innovative rehabilitation garden at the Duke of
Cornwall Spinal Treatment Centre in Salisbury, which caters for patients from across the
South and South West of England.
Annie also highlighted the shows support for Tools Shed, an innovative scheme which
is the brainchild of The Conservation Foundation. Dedicated to promoting positive
environmental news, awareness and action, this innovative Foundation project is designed
to equip the next generation of gardeners, teach prisoners new skills and reduce waste.
Run in association with HM Prisons, people donate old, damaged or unwanted tools which are
refurbished in prison workshops. The tools are then given free to local schools and
& Christa Taylor with some of the Morgan Brinkhurst Consultancy Events Team
The National Gardening Show
is hosting the launch of Tools Shed in the South West as it is rolled out nationally. With
the help of Cheddar Garden Centre, the shows main sponsor, gardeners are being asked
to bring their tools that are too broken to use but too good to throw away, to their stand
at the event. The tools will then be refurbished at HMP Dartmoor.
This was followed by a presentation from the dedicated and passionate team behind the
acclaimed community initiative, the Edible Bus Stop (EBS) Makaela Gilchrist,
Co-founder & Chairperson of the EBS, and Will Sandy, Co-founder and Creative Director
of the project. Established to help transform neglected and disused sites along transport
networks, into valuable community growing spaces, the project was launched initially in
South London, and is now going live nationally at the show with a visually stunning garden
Down (Cleeve Nurseries) Will Sandy & Michaela Gilchrist (Creators The Edible Bus Stop
The garden will then be
relocated after the event, to one lucky communitys bus stop the result of a
competition inviting people to nominate their local bus stop for a special makeover by the
EBS team. The City or Town whose community will be awarded with the garden will be
revealed at a special Show VIP Reception sponsored by Circle Bath on the first day of the
event (August 31st). It will then be their role to maintain it. This will be the first
Edible Bus Stop outside of London, with Cleeve Nursery, which is situated near Bristol and
boasts an exceptional range of high quality plants, shrubs, trees, and grasses, providing
all the plants and flowers for the feature.
Recognised as a powerful force for change, the project is a social enterprise and entirely
dependent on supporters to maintain the existing projects and the planned momentum for
national expansion. Makaela commented: "We're excited to be launching the Edible Bus
Stop at the 2012 National Gardening Show and are very grateful to
Annie Maw for her support and belief in our project. The Edible Bus Stop project brings
out the best in humanity. Whether that be local or national businesses who support us with
their goods, services and time or locals who come out to garden the sites, keep an eye on
them and implicitly understand it's theirs to care for, respect and protect.
We believe that brutal landscapes make for brutal outlooks. By encouraging
communities to take responsibility for their neglected public spaces, old and young can
come together for a common cause. The Edible Bus Stop project doesn't just grow gardens,
it grows communities. By bringing people together, barriers are broken down, conversations
are had and connections are made."
Finally Alan Lyons, Show Manager at The Royal Bath & West of England Society, which
organises the National Gardening Show, outlined some of the other show highlights which
contribute to making the event one of the most popular in the Autumn UK gardening
calendar. These included the Instant Gardening Challenge, run by the Cheddar Garden
Centre, the Show and Feature Gardens, the hugely successful UK National Giant Vegetable
Championships, key trade exhibitors and a return visit by the very talented Bath based
Natural Theatre Company.
Alan concluded, thanking Ian
and Christa Taylor for their very generous hospitality, adding: Gardening is all
about passion and that sums up my excitement about the National Gardening Show.
It's about peoples passion for gardening. Some people love one kind of gardening,
others another - but we are expecting them all to find what they want to see at our show.
From gardening celebrities to the Secret Gardens of Somerset and the South West, from
National Dahlias to Giant Vegetables, from poultry to goats, allotments and small
holdings, people bring their exhibits with PASSION, for you to see.
1. For information on the
Royal Bath & West Society - Somerset based agricultural shows, showground and events -
creator of the National Gardening Show please visit www.bathandwest.com
2. For further information about the Abbey Hotel, pleased visit www.abbeyhotelbath.co.uk
3.For further information on the The Edible Bus Stop (EBS) project visit: www.theediblebusstop.org