Gardens Illustrated
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Eden Project installs CAMFED Chelsea gold-winning garden

Published: October 3, 2019 at 2:40 pm

The Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED) African Garden tells the story of the charity's work with excluded girls and young women

The Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED) African Garden, which won a gold medal at RHS Chelsea Flower Show this year, is being staged at the Eden Project in Cornwall.


The garden, which is due to open in the Mediterranean Biome at the Eden Project on October 18, explores how CAMFED supports excluded girls and young women in rural sub-Saharan Africa to go to school and become leaders and change-makers in their communities.

Created by London-based designer Jilayne Rickards, who visited CAMFED in Zimbabwe, the garden has a classroom at its centre, surrounded by lush planting that reflects the range edible crops typical to rural Zimbabwe. The garden helped launch the international non-profit's #SeeGrowth campaign which aims to support thousands more young women to establish climate-smart agricultural businesses.

Tree re-planting at the Eden Project, Cornwall.
Tree re-planting at the Eden Project, Cornwall. TOM LAST/APEX

At Chelsea in May the garden also won the BBC/RHS People's Choice Award in the 'Space to Grow' category. Many of the plants were grown by Eden horticulturalist Sarah Northcott and some were grown at the nursery by People and Gardens, which works with people with physical and emotional impairments.

Rickards was a first-time exhibitor at Chelsea and had never created a show garden before. She said: "It is really inspiring to know that our garden will live on at Eden and be enjoyed by millions of visitors. We hope it will continue to raise awareness about CAMFED's #SeeGrowth campaign."

The inspiration for the garden came from meeting Beauty Gombana, a CAMFED alumna from Zimbabwe. Beauty runs her own agricultural business, growing nutrient rich crops and employing local staff.

Jilayne Rickards, Clarah Zinyama, Sinikiwe Makove, Miranda Curtis at Chelsea

(from left) Designer Jilayne Rickards, Clarah Zinyama, agricultural entrepreneur from Zimbabwe, Sinikiwe Makove, head of programmes at CAMFED Zimbabwe, and Miranda Curtis, chair of CAMFED international, with the CAMFED garden’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show gold medal.


Daisy Bowie-Sell is digital editor of Gardens Illustrated. She has previously worked as a journalist for publications including the Daily Telegraph, WhatsOnStage and Time Out London


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