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First images of Birmingham’s Chelsea Flower Show display for 2021 are revealed

Published: Monday, 6th September 2021

Pictures previewing what Birmingham City Council’s 2021 RHS Chelsea Flower display will look like have been revealed.

CGI of the city council RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2021 entry

The display, entitled Floella’s Future Generation, is sponsored by Veolia and is all about how we can all make a small or large change to help improve the environment for future generations.

Building on Baroness Floella Benjamin’s garden in 2019, the display gives examples of how to make a positive environmental difference in your own home, garden or the community you live in.

The display will also raise awareness of sustainable energy sources and look at how these initiatives can be scaled up or down to fit all scenarios.

It will showcase traditional seasonal bedding, with all the plants produced or maintained at Birmingham City Council’s nurseries.

Flowering plants are set to include Pansy, Dahlia, New Guinea Impatiens, Antirrhinum, Gerbera, Begonia, Coleus and various carpet bedding plants including Ajuga, Sedum, Helichrysum and Alternanthera. In order to show the importance of planting trees, the display will contain a small group of Acers and an apple tree.

Cllr John O’Shea, Cabinet Member for Street Scene and Parks at Birmingham City Council, said: “Our environment is a resource we all rely upon for our health and prosperity, so we are keen to promote how we can all do our bit to preserve and enhance it.

“The nurseries team always put together a visually stunning and thought-provoking display for the Chelsea Flower Show – and I am sure the judges will be impressed again this year.

“So many different ideas and concepts have been packed into this year’s entry, which will give visitors to the show some great ideas about how they can contribute positively to the environment in which they live or work.”

Mark Powell, Veolia General Manager in Birmingham, said: “We are pleased to be supporting Birmingham City Council at Chelsea with their ground-breaking concept and look forward to seeing the finished garden.

“As the UK's leading resource management company, Veolia is delighted that this garden highlights ways in which we can all make a positive environmental difference in our own homes and lifestyles.”

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2021 runs from September 21-26.

Background notes

Some of the many aspects and ideas of the display include:

  • A solar panel
  • A green roof
  • Rainwater harvesting
  • Recycling
  • Wind power
  • LED lighting
  • Smart meters
  • Sustainable urban drainage
  • Cycling
  • Water power
  • Air quality
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Electric vehicles
  • Gardens
  • Smart devices

The key themes of the display are summarised as follows:

The Natural Environment

There are 22 million residential gardens in the UK, they are unique spaces that could do so much for the environment. Gardens are especially important in cities where they provide much needed habitats for wildlife, an opportunity for you to grow your own food and places to relax and be social. On a larger scale parks provide space for all those without their own garden. In Birmingham there are over 600 parks and open spaces. Gardens and parks could be used to in our response to climate change, providing green transport networks, plants to help filter the air and the sustainable management of water.

Sustainable Energy

Although using the power of the sun to produce electricity has been around since the mid-1800s, the technology has really improved over the last 20 years. Solar farms have been on the increase and now an estimated 825,000 homes have solar panels filtered to them. There is plenty of room for improvement as this is only 2.8 per cent of homes, with 6 per cent of the UK’s energy produced from solar sources. Solar power can be used at various levels from large solar farms down to personal power banks that can be used anywhere.  he display also shows the benefits of wind power which again can be on a large scale or for a small garden.

Green Travel

The display highlights the benefits of cycling and the increasing use of electric vehicles. Increasing the use of green travel will have a direct impact on air quality, this is especially important to large cities such as Birmingham. Every year air pollution contributes to the premature deaths of up to 1,000 people in Birmingham through conditions such as cancer, heart and lung disease. To improve air quality within the city, Birmingham introduced a Clean Air Zone on 1 June 2021, charging owners of the most high-polluting vehicles to drive within certain parts of the city centre, unless they have an exemption. For more information go to brumbreathes.co.uk

Home Improvements

The display looks at the home and garden to suggest ways you can make a difference. Smart Meters, the move to LED lights, having house plants, installing small scale sustainable energy solutions, recycling and installing green roofs. There are many benefits of a green roof, these include providing insulation, providing habitats for birds and insects, helping towards urban air quality and reducing noise pollution, helping to cool urban environments in the process. Green roofs can be on a large scale or can be fitted to sheds or outside bin stores.

Water

The display looks at the use of water. From water harvesting from buildings to water bore holes, the display will follow the flow of water down rivers to the sea where a number of turbines use the power of water to produce electricity. The display looks at the importance of sustainable drainage systems that can be used to collect and reuse water.

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