-RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 media alert-
Come to your senses: Miracle-Gro’s Ecotherapy Garden seeks to raise awareness of young people’s mental health
Interviews and photography opportunities available with:
Vicky Page, Miracle-Gro’s Garden Designer and Horticulturist
Pupils Ruby Ogden (age 8ys) and Eva Rawlingson (age 6yrs), from the Miracle-Gro’wers Academy and Wicor Primary School
Amber Cowburn, Campaigns Manager at YoungMinds
Carol Sales, Horticultural Therapist at HighGround, Headley Court
Gold medal winner Miracle-Gro has created an innovative, sensory garden at the 2017 RHS Chelsea Flower Show to promote the benefits of horticultural therapy, particularly with children and families. Today, one in ten children have a diagnosable mental health disorder and, this year, Miracle-Gro’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show garden seeks to raise awareness of these alarming levels of mental health issues facing young people, and how spending time outdoors can help to combat this.
Miracle-Gro’s multi-dimensional space with a heart highlights the tangible benefits of ecotherapy on mental health, and the garden will act as a catalyst for people of all ages to explore their relationship with green space; a place to rejuvenate, restore and retain personal wellness.
Located in the Discovery Area (Stand number GPH240), the Miracle-Gro garden is entered by the public through a specially constructed timber house in which one’s senses are exposed to sights, smells and noises; simulating the stressful indoor environment experienced by many young people from factors such as constant interruptions from social media, phones ringing and noisy video games. Upon leaving the house, visitors enter the Miracle-Gro garden; a calming haven of nature which explores and stimulates each of the five senses, demonstrating the positive benefits of green space. The contrast of this home and outdoor environment illustrates the benefits for young people of spending more time outdoors, away from the pressures of modern society, to help promote positive emotional wellbeing.
In line with its mission to promote the benefits of gardening, Miracle-Gro has set up the Miracle-Gro’wers Academy, an initiative which has seen the company work with over 500 schools over the past seven years. This initiative supports teachers in enriching their curriculum with simple scientific experiments to help children learn more about gardening and plants while sparking their interest in nature and the importance of spending time outdoors. Several young Miracle-Gro’wers will be present at the garden to talk to visitors and press about their experience as part of the Academy.
To help bring its ecotherapy concept to life, Miracle-Gro is working closely alongside several charitable partners:
YoungMinds, the UK’s leading charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing of young people and member charity of Heads Together – the mental health campaign spearheaded by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. On the last day of the event, plants will be sold to raise money for Heads Together. YoungMinds is supporting Miracle-Gro’s messaging with research and first-hand experience. Amber Cowburn, Campaigns Manager, will be available during the show.
HighGround, a charity which provides horticultural therapy to patients of the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre in Surrey. Ex-servicemen will assist in planting the garden at Chelsea as part of their therapy programmes.
Following the show, Miracle-Gro will donate plants and fittings from the garden to Acorns Children’s Hospice to create a relaxing and multi-sensory space for families to enjoy.
Vicky Page, Miracle-Gro’s Garden Designer and Consumer Relations Manager, comments:
“This year’s Miracle-Gro garden addresses a hard-hitting and relevant societal issue, and with 25% of children and young people showing some evidence of mental ill health, we’re incredibly proud that our design delivers an important message. As well as being a space to enjoy, we feel confident that our garden will help more people to enjoy the positive effect green space can have on mental health. We are very excited to see how the public responds to the multi-sensory experience and hope they come away with some ideas about how to integrate a positive outdoor space at home, or simply just try to enjoy what they have even more than before.”
Amber Cowburn, Campaigns Manager at YoungMinds, comments:
“Children and teenagers today face a huge range of pressures, including stress at school, around-the-clock social media, body image issues and bullying on and offline. Spending time outdoors, taking up a hobby, being with friends and family, talking about how you’re feeling, eating well and time out from their daily routine can be incredibly beneficial. We are delighted to be working with Miracle-Gro to highlight that by making simple changes, young people and their families can make a real difference to their mental health.”
Carol Sales, Horticultural Therapist at HighGround, Headley Court, comments:
“With this year’s important message around mental health and the benefits of ecotherapy, we’re delighted to be involved in the Miracle-Gro garden. HighGround’s ex-servicemen are proud to be helping plant up the garden ahead of the show as part of their horticultural therapy programme, demonstrating their expertise at such a prestigious event and advocating the ways in which land-based activity has helped them.”
Notes to Editors:
Statistics from the YoungMinds Wise Up Report 2017.
Eliza Nicholas (on site)
020 7010 0855
020 7010 0877
020 7010 0839
Anna Baker Cresswell