BBC’s The One Show and RHS announce return of the Growing Together Award for 2024

In celebration of community gardening, the BBC’s The One Show and the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) announce the 2024 Growing Together Community Gardening Competition

The Up Garden winner of the 2023 RHS & BBC The One Show community garden award winner
credit: The UP Garden

Just as in 2023, the competition aims to shine a light on community gardening groups across the UK that have transformed a previously unused space into an inspiring green one for the benefit of local people and those trying gardening for the first time. Community gardening groups are taking on a range of challenges, including the provision of fresh fruit and vegetables for nearby food banks, tackling social isolation, or protecting plants and wildlife.

Applications are now open (29 April) and the BBC’s The One Show and the RHS welcomes groups to share their stories and experiences of how their community garden, big or small, has transformed their local area and ignited community spirit.

Entrants must have transformed their space within 36 months of the competition’s opening date, and it must be open to the public and local community members who wish to take up community gardening. The competition entries will be judged by a panel from the RHS and the BBC, including community activist and garden activator Tayshan Hayden-Smith who helped create the Grenfell Garden of Peace in North Kensington. The panel will assess the entries based on the creativity and design of the transformed space and positive impact it has had on the local community.

Judge Tayshan Hayden-Smith said: “Community gardens exist as the beating heart of many of the communities that entered our competition last year. I’m a big believer that community gardens offer so many beautiful social and environmental opportunities and solutions and it fills me with pride knowing that there are so many more out there who I’m hoping will enter this year’s competition. For last year’s winner, The Up Garden, the competition has brought even more love and life into their already magical space.”

Last year’s winner was The UP Garden, an abandoned former laundry on a housing estate in Forest Gate. Opened in 2022 it fast became a colourful and welcoming place for people of all ages to learn about gardening, biodiversity, and eco-sustainability in a social environment. Complete with donated and upcycled plants and materials, the garden, run by a committee of local residents, hosts seasonal events and nature-based workshops, and is a hub for the community.

Pak Ling Wan, Community Programme Manager at the RHS said: “2023’s competition showed us the resourcefulness and resolve of gardening groups across the country who are helping to grow stronger communities through their work. We’re excited to shine a light on many more this year as part of our search with The One Show and support their outstanding achievements.”

2024’s winning garden will receive £1,000 in National Garden Gift Vouchers while runners up will receive Outstanding Awards and £100 National Garden Gift Vouchers. Applications close at 6pm on 9 June 2024, and results will be announced on the BBC’s The One Show in autumn 2024.