The Newt & RHS: Growing a new generation of gardeners

2024 marks The Newt in Somerset’s third year as headline sponsor of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, supporting the RHS in their mission to encourage and improve the practice of horticulture.

The Newt Kitchen Garden

The Newt in Somerset’s ongoing sponsorship of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show supports the work undertaken by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) including scientific research, education and community programmes. According to the Newt, the partnership is founded on strong mutual values, particularly a belief in the vital benefits and positive impact of access to nature.

Ed Workman, CEO of The Newt in Somerset, said: “We look forward to another action packed RHS Chelsea Flower Show, and we are pleased to play a small part in helping the charity fulfil its mission, ensuring that horticulture thrives through education and innovation for many generations to come.”

At RHS Chelsea, the Newt will once again co-host the ‘Young Horts’ Breakfast with the RHS. Attended by 200 young new talents from around the world, the young horticulturists are privy to talks by Clare Matterson, RHS Director General, Ed Workman, the Newt’s CEO and Stephen Herrington, Newt Head Gardener in the Newt hospitality suite. In addition, they are taken on private tours of the show gardens, where they will be offered unique access and insights into developing their horticultural careers.

Education and inspiration are key for the Newt in Somerset, which has a continued focus on inspiring the next generation of gardeners. The Newt’s garden apprenticeship programme, launched in 2020, is currently guiding three young apprentices through a two-year programme spending time in ornamental, edible, woodland and turf departments. One apprentice has just been recruited full-time into the Ornamentals team and will be part of the build team creating this year’s garden at RHS Chelsea.

Budding gardeners can access The Newt’s schools’ programme from an early age, now expanding into areas outside of the county. The estate has welcomed over 3000 children between September 2023 – September 2024 to its ‘Roman Villa Education Programme’ and is currently developing its ‘Outdoor Education Programme’, which will include a further 1100 children between September 2024 – September 2025. The programme hosts a Forest School, regular tours and workshops for children, with under 17s able to visit the gardens free with an adult member.

For the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, the Newt in Somerset is creating a colourful peristyle colonnaded Roman garden, authentically reconstructed and the planting based on the aesthetic and wellbeing choices of an urban Roman household.