Birmingham unveils 2019 RHS Chelsea Flower Show garden

Published: Tuesday, 7th May 2019

With sights set on achieving their eighth Gold, Birmingham City Council's RHS Chelsea Flower Show entry for 2019 celebrates a year of clean and green community action.

Working in partnership with Baroness Floella Benjamin and sponsored by Veolia, the garden will feature in the show’s ‘Discovery Zone’ and has been designed to educate, question and explore our environment and the contribution made by volunteers to sustain and improve it. This will be achieved through four key themes: air quality, water conservation, reducing waste and community involvement.

Central to the display is a three meter head, comprised of more than 3000 tubes, which will be drinking water from a disposable cup using a plastic straw. With an estimated 46 billion plastic drinks bottles, 16 billion disposable cups and 36 billion plastic drinking straws being disposed of every year, the garden highlights the concern about micro-plastics in our food chain.

The water that is brought up through the straw is then recycled in to a series of canals that represent the 35 miles that frame the city. The canal pathways will be planted with flora which removes toxins from the environment and which show the beauty and other benefits which they bring.

Cabinet member for homes and neighbourhoods, Cllr Sharon Thompson said, “I’m delighted that as well as highlighting the importance of our local environment and providing a future vision for sustainability in Birmingham, it also recognises the army of volunteers that help to look after and maintain the 500 parks and green spaces right across the city.

“The work of these volunteers and of the Friends of Parks groups is vital and should be celebrated, so I’m thrilled that they have quite literally been included in the form of miniature 3D printed models of actual volunteers.”

A giant foot will hover over the display to remind people of the carbon footprint we are leaving on the planet, how this affects our natural open spaces and the benefit those spaces give to our health and well-being.

The main source of air pollution in cities today is through transport. Therefore, the display will also include a road made from recycled tyres and will look at how different plants can be used to remove toxins from the environment. The focus of these plants will be to demonstrate how by using allergy friendly plants, exposure to plants that can trigger allergies and asthma will be reduced.

Baroness Floella Benjamin said, “After the success of the Windrush Garden last year it’s a joy to once again work with the creative Birmingham City Council team. This year by highlighting the crucial issue of recycling we show how each of us, as individuals can make a difference, as well as how companies and organisations can practice responsible recycling. 

“Climate change and pollution are a global emergency and the only way to save our precious, wounded planet is for everyone to work together for the sake of our children’s future.”




Notes to editors

For more information, please contact Birmingham City Council Press Office on 0121 303 3287 or

To access a full range of images of Birmingham City Council’s Chelsea Flower Show display, please visit:

RHS Chelsea Flower Show takes place 20th – 25th May 2019.

Birmingham has 591 parks and green spaces across the city and is one of the greenest cities in Europe.
A key part of its strategy to maintain its parks lies in working closely with Birmingham Open Spaces Forum and with the more than 130 Friends of Parks groups.

Birmingham City Council is also introducing a Clean Air Zone as part of its commitment to fighting back against the unsafe levels of air pollution. The Government has recently approved the Council’s plan and has committed £39m to its implementation, £15m of which has been earmarked to support taxi drivers in the city.

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