The Pulp Friction – Growing Skills Garden

Designed by Will Dutch & Tin-Tin Azure-Marxen the Growing Skills garden for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2024 celebrates the Pulp Friction community, demonstrating the power of inclusivity through gardening.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show Garden 2024 the Pulp Friction Growing Skills Garden

Part of the ‘All About Plants‘ category, the Growing Skills Garden reflects the East Midlands-based Community Interest Company (CIC), Pulp Friction’s mission to challenge perceptions of people with learning disabilities.

The garden is formed around centrifugal forces, with colours and textures of edible planting spread throughout the garden, symbolising the connection between Pulp Friction and the wider community.

The inspiration for the garden comes from the story of Pulp Friction’s creation. Pulp Friction started by taking smoothie bikes to events and festivals, providing an opportunity for people with Learning Disabilities and/or Autism to gain confidence and work experience. The motion and colours created by the bikes formed the inspiration for the garden. This concept drove the development of the garden and the idea to tell the story of Pulp Friction and their supporters.

The garden features a large overhead hoop, constructed from recycled fire hoses, donated by one of Pulp Friction’s key partners: Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, encircling the central space. Designed to be a place where everyone can come together to foster diversity, inclusion and equality while being surrounded by vibrant edible planting. Every species selected within this garden has a secondary usable function outside of its appearance, be it edible, medicinal or beneficial to wildlife. The planting is designed around the concept of a forest garden, inspired by the largest remaining remnant of Sherwood Forest, the area Pulp Friction calls home.

In terms of sustainability, all elements in the garden are to be either relocated to or reused by Pulp Friction after the show. Plants are grown peat free, watered by rainwater harvesting until show-delivery and biological pest control is used to ensure no chemicals. Pots will be recycled and will use reusable trolley jackets to reduce single use plastic consumption. Reclaimed or recycled local materials are used throughout the garden; from the feature hoop made of recycled fire hose, gabions created using reclaimed materials, the seating and rear wall made from reclaimed timber, to the paving made from waste material from commercial paving manufacturers. Construction will be concrete and cement free.

After the show, the garden will be relocated to Stockhill Fire Station in Nottingham and will be used as a safe, welcoming and secure community garden by Pulp Friction, the local community and firefighters suffering from psychological stress.

The designers

Will Dutch & Tin-Tin Azure-Marxen of Dutch Landscapes work across the UK and internationally, to create unique and sustainable designs that connect people, places and nature. Both Dutch and Azure-Marxen studied Landscape and Garden Design at the Writtle School of Design, progressed onto postgraduates in Landscape Architecture, to becoming Chartered Members of the Landscape Institute. Dutch has worked as a commercial landscape architect throughout his career, working on large mixed-use urban developments; creating new parks and roof gardens. Azure-Marxen spent many years in China and India working on small scale residential and large scale commercial projects as a Landscape Architect. He has also worked on design competitions such as the Chaumont-sur-Loire International Garden Festival in 2021 and the Beijing Garden Expo in 2013.

The garden will be built by Big Fish Landscapes and is supported by Project Giving Back.