Borough Market, Franchi Seeds and the Eden Project are joining forces to create an abundant kitchen garden for the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower show in July.
The Kitchen Garden is a collaboration between Borough Market, Britain’s most renowned food market; Franchi Seeds of Italy, the oldest family seed company in the world and the iconic Eden Project based in Cornwall, home of the world famous rainforest and Mediterranean Biomes. The three partners aim to inspire and educate visitors to RHS Hampton Court; highlighting the importance of seasonality, diversity and provenance of the fruit and vegetables that we eat.
Designed to replicate a traditional market stall, but with all of the plants, herbs and flowers planted, the Borough Market Kitchen Garden will take visitors on a journey from seed to plate. The innovative display will showcase the range of fresh produce that can be grown from seed at home, whether on a small urban balcony, window box or a larger plot.
The garden is Borough Market’s first RHS display, and represents London’s oldest market’s commitment to raising awareness of food provenance, and connecting consumers to the process of growing produce.
The garden is being designed by a team of horticulturalists from Eden, lead by multi-award winning designers Emma Gunn and Paul Stone. Situated in the ‘Dig In’ Marquee, DG397, the small garden is set against the backdrop of red brickwork and filigree columns synonymous with Borough Market. Captivating to both adults and children alike, plant varieties on show will include Alpine Spinach from Asti, traditionally used to make Cannelloni Piemontesi, Neapolitan ‘Friarielli’ broccoletti which locally would be eaten on pizze and in pasta, Chickpeas from Tuscany, and Borlotto beans from Saluggia which are indispensable in stews, minestrone and risottos.
The Borough Market Kitchen Garden will include plants grown by award winning nurseries from the range of seeds developed by Franchi for the Eden Project. These traditional regional varieties were inspired by plants grown in Eden’s Mediterranean Biome, and range from herbs to vegetables and edible flowers – a riot of colour and abundance of living plants. Most of the plants will be available to buy from seed from the stand.
Paolo Arrigo, Founder of Seeds of Italy, which imports the Franchi brand “As a producer of regional heirloom seed varieties with provenance, we’re so excited to be featuring plants from our Eden Project range at Hampton Court. We hope to inspire people to create their own Kitchen Garden at home, and be adventurous with their planting – for example try growing Chickpeas from Tuscany which grow so easily (most people have never eaten a fresh chickpea). The Kitchen Garden is a real celebration of varieties found seasonally to buy at Borough Market but which can also be grown at home.”
Ann Ball, Trustee, Borough Market said: “Fresh, seasonal fruit and vegetables are integral to what we offer at Borough Market, and there’s nothing fresher than harvesting your own crop, direct from your garden. We are passionate about reconnecting people with produce, and have worked for many years with primary school children through our Young Marketeers programme. This garden marks a logical next step for us and shows that all of us can have that connection with our food through a kitchen garden, however limited our outdoor space.”
Dr Mike Maunder, Eden’s Director of Life Sciences said: “This is a wonderful opportunity to work with two of our favourite partners, Borough Market and Franchi Seeds. We all share a commitment to quality food that is sustainable and pioneering. Good food should be available to all whether bought from a wonderful market or grown in your garden.”