We have been working with Thomas Bow City Asphalt to create an urban pocket park inspired garden at this month’s RHS Tatton Park flower show. The garden, entitled “A drop of urban green” represents what can be achieved in unused and unloved pockets of space in towns and cities across the world.

Pocket parks have contributed a great deal to cities in the last few years. The idea originated in the USA, but has spread throughout Europe and the UK, becoming increasingly popular. Some pocket parks are created as a temporary feature to show the potential of what could be achieved, whereas others are implemented as a permanent space. The response has been hugely positive and has seen to increase footfall for shops and restaurants nearby.

The garden that is currently being installed ready for next week’s flower show will be relocated back to Nottingham, to transform a space for Nottingham City Homes. Research has found that pocket parks and green infrastructure are hugely important for cities. There are suggestions that our urban environments increase levels of cortisol, and green spaces provide a restorative environment away from these stresses. Many countries across Europe have been seen to hand out ‘green prescriptions’ encouraging patients suffering from stress and anxiety to take time out to engage with nature, as apposed traditional drug treatment methods.

Pocket parks also provide little green corridors for wildlife such as pollinators to visit and help cool and improve the air quality in towns and cities. Any green spaces that use rain positively help mitigate some of the localised flooding events becoming increasingly more common in the built environment due to climate change.

Helen Taylor, Director of Hosta Consulting said, “We try to pop up green spaces where possible, whether that’s transforming old pallets into planters or implementing larger landscaping schemes.

If we want to ensure a sustainable future for our planet, then it is vital that we create these green spaces to offset the flooding problems and air pollution that we often experience in our cities.”

Its has also been demonstrated successfully that by adding green space to deprived areas of cities can act as a stimulus and have a significant effect on their regeneration.

Green infrastructure has been a key focus for research as of late. Charles Montgomery’s book ‘Happy City’ states that humans need small daily doses of nature, and suggests pockets of green should be woven into the city’s fabric to ensure it forms part of people’s daily routines and habitats.

Ed Higgins, who designed ‘A drop of urban green’ said: “We are really pleased to have been chosen to exhibit an urban garden at this year’s show. We love the RHS’s Greening Grey Britain mission, and hope our pocket park represents a fine example of doing so, especially as the garden is continuing its journey onto Nottingham to further green our city.”

And it isn't just horticulturists that are promoting this greening initiative. This year the UK government dedicated £1.5 million in funding to an urban greening scheme that will see more than 80 unloved urban spaces into pocket parks. Furthermore following the publication of the London Infrastructure Plan 2050, the Green Infrastructure Task Force report was published last Autumn, which stresses that all neighbourhoods should be able to benefit from the green spaces. The report states that it will encourage walking, cycling and exercise as well as creating a safer community and improve water and air quality for the city. There are hopes these initiatives and the wealth of research will set a trend for more public gardens and parks to be implemented within urban planning and development.

Nottingham based Thomas Bow City Asphalt were selected to construct the garden thanks to their commitment on External Environmental Improvements Framework for Nottingham City Homes. The team, led by Mick Matthews, have successfully delivered many schemes across Nottingham revitalising communal areas and gardens for residents.

Thomas Bow City Asphalt Managing Director Alistair Bow commented "It’s great to see this team getting an opportunity to compete at the show. We’ve been trading for nearly 150 years and it’s the first time we’ve been involved in a RHS Show. The team has worked so hard on schemes on our doorstep and deserve every recognition they get over the coming week. We all look forward to welcoming the garden back to Nottingham.’

Nick Murphy, Chief Executive at Nottingham City Homes said: “I’m delighted that this locally designed garden will be coming back to Nottingham. I wish Hosta every success at Tatton Park Flower Show and look forward to seeing their garden enriching the lives of our residents.”

The RHS Tatton Park Flower Show runs from 20th – 24th July 2016. To buy tickets please visit the RHS website at www.rhs.org.uk/tattonpark

For more information, please contact Claire Russell on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.