On 14th September, the #GiveItAGrow initiative will give away 10,000 free planting kits to help residents make their homes greener and provide simple growing tips and inspiration.
The initiative is part of the Mayor of London’s ongoing commitment to making London a greener and wilder National Park City and follows on from the National Park City Festival (20th – 28th July), which invited Londoners to explore the capital’s amazing outdoors, with over 300 free events across the city.
The aim is for the kits to spark a joy for growing in Londoners that will inspire them to improve gardens and green balconies and windowsills to help wildlife like pollinating bees and butterflies.
The kits have been designed to work in any space, however small, including window boxes and balconies and to be easy for planting-novices to grow successfully.
The kits will be available from selected Starbucks stores, selected B&Q stores in London and IKEA Greenwich on Saturday 14th September, on a first come, first serve basis.
Each #GiveItAGrow kit will contain:
- Wildlife-friendly crocus bulbs
- Mix of native wildflower seeds
- Parsley and basil seeds
- Growing matter (compressed organic coir brick)
- Simple growing tips printed on paper made from recycled coffee cups
Used coffee grounds will also be available from the Starbucks stores – more than a quarter (26%) of Londoners fertilise their soil with used coffee grounds.
Londoners can visit www.giveitagrow.info to find their nearest collection point and find simple tips on growing from expert gardeners Kate Bradbury and Jack Wallington.
The initiative is expected to strike a chord with Londoners as three quarters (74%) think more green spaces would make the city a nicer place to live.60% want to learn more about growing at home and about which plants are suitable for their space. As well as brightening up living areas, Londoners also feel that growing plants at home is a way we can all help protect the environment (68%) and a further three quarters (74%) think creating green spaces is important as it helps support London’s bees and butterflies.
Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy, Shirley Rodrigues said: “In July I was proud to see London declared the world’s first National Park City, in recognition of the capital’s exceptional open spaces, waterways and natural environment. These planting kits are a great way for all Londoners – whether they’re seasoned gardeners or green-fingered novices – to help make the capital even greener. This summer’s National Park City Festival showed how passionate Londoners are about supporting and celebrating our green spaces – so whether you have a garden, a balcony, or even a window box, get involved and get growing.”
Trewin Restorick, CEO and Founder of Hubbub said: “London’s population is predicted to reach 11 million by 2050 so it’s important we invest in supporting new and existing green spaces, which are vital for wildlife and the overall environment as well as our mental health and wellbeing. While parks and large gardens are great, the planting kits are about showing Londoners how greening up even the smallest of spaces can reap benefits by connecting
them with nature and improving the environment. We’d encourage residents to visit one of the collection points on the 14th September to pick up a free planting kit and visit the website to find useful growing tips and ideas.”
As well as the free kits #GiveItAGrow is offering Londoners via the website:
- Tips and ideas for growing at home including videos and advice on growing easy edible plants and attracting wildlife to your garden from expert gardeners Jack Wallington and Kate Bradbury.
- Tips on how to save money and reduce waste by creating homemade plant pots from things you have at home.
- Ideas about how to spread the joy of growing in your community by giving a plant or hosting a plant swap.
- Accessible information on the benefits of green urban areas.
Rob McCoy, Regional Director for London and the South at Starbucks said: “There is strong desire amongst Londoners to help make the city a greener place and we’re delighted to join forces with Hubbub to make this a reality. Using left-over coffee grounds as an organic fertiliser is not only an effective gardening hack, but also a way our stores put the used coffee grounds from our drinks to good use, through our Grounds for Your Garden programme. By
offering those in and around our participating London stores one of the useful growing kits, and encouraging local communities to get involved, we are hopeful we can equip them with the right tools and also put coffee waste to good use.”
Jack Wallington, urban garden designer said: “Over the years I’ve grown vegetables, herbs and fruit in the smallest, most unlikely spaces from my tiny one bed flat in Clapham. There is nothing more rewarding than podding a pea or plucking a radish grown from seed to eat with your dinner, yet I’ve found most existing advice for growing produce is totally disconnected from the realities of London life. To help, I’ve shared some of my top tips for growing at home even with no garden at all!”
#GiveItAGrow is part of the Mayor of London’s commitment to making the capital a greener, healthier and wilder National Park City. It is being supported by partners including Starbucks, IKEA Greenwich and B&Q.