Hilary Blume puts the Chelsea Flower Show gardens up for sale

Ever wondered what happens to all the plants at the Chelsea Flower Show once it closes its gates each year? Hilary Blume did, which is why she is arranging for them to be recycled at this year’s garden event. Ms Blume, 63, founder of ethical present charity the Good Gifts Catalogue, is working with the show’s organisers, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), to give away timber, paving stones, plants, trees and the like to community organisations and schools after the event finishes.


“Some of the gardens are replanted in places like old people’s homes, but most of them aren’t,” Ms Blume, a member of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue, tells People. “We spoke to the RHS and said we think we can organise recycling site using volunteers to help us. They agreed but were a bit anxious at first, as previously the responsibility for clearing the site was up to the exhibitors. They had to be sure we’d do what we said.”

But she says she has already had interest from more than 100 groups. “Starbucks have offered to give us food free of charge to the volunteers.” Ms Blume’s charity has sponsored its own gold medal-winning garden, which will be auctioned on eBay after the Flower Show to raise money to build gardens in Africa. Bidding starts at £500. There have been eight “watchers” and one “bidder” at the time of writing.

    Last updated: 9:20am, May 28 2008