Towering plant makes a stand for homeless people

A giant man made of hundreds of healing plants is taking shape as part of the largest garden for the forthcoming RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2010.

More than 300 homeless and disadvantaged people from across the country are now preparing detailed plans for the “Places of Change” Garden, the biggest-ever show garden in the history of the world-famous event. Among the creative concepts already being developed is the towering “planted man” figure being made up of medicinal plants grown in the precise bodily regions to which they bring benefit.

The novel idea was suggested by Lucy Fleming, a project worker at Stonham, a supported housing provider. The framework is now being devised and the plants are being researched, selected and grown. Among the remedies proposed is St John’s Wort, sometimes used in the treatment of depression, to make up part of the figure’s head.

Also working on the garden’s Health zone are Herefordshire SHYPP, supported housing for young people project, whose clients have chosen the theme of toxic and healing plants for their design, and have recruited two herbalists from London to work with ten young people, to teach them about their own health, plants and their healing properties.

Overseen by Paul Stone, the Eden Project garden designer and a multiple medal winner at Chelsea, the 590 square-metre garden will feature a network of themed zones all conveying the empowering nature of growing for life. In addition to the health zone, other areas will feature food production, the senses, industry and the environment.

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