The Journey So Far
When David started Cultivation Street it was the simple idea of bringing a bit of pride and beauty back to Britain's streets. It quickly became apparent though, that there was a much larger ideal here to reach form and a small but inspiring move of community gardens that needed support and representation.
IN CONTACT WITH
SCHOOLS AND COMMUNITIES
YEARS SUPPORTING COMMUNITY GARDENING
£4 MILLION WORTH OF PUBLICITY AND COVERAGE
PROMOTING COMMUNITY AND SCHOOL GARDENING
PEOPLE REACHED THROUGH OUR NEWSLETTER
GIVEN AWAY SO FAR
COMMUNITIES ENGAGING ON SOCIAL MEDIA
- Launched the Cultivation Street campaign, in print, on line, across the media to British public & the Horticultural industry.
- Focused on Front Gardens and raised awareness across the media and the industry on the plight of these Gardens.
- Created the national competition with hundreds of entries and gave £20,000 in prizes to deserving communities.
- Achieved over £1 million pounds worth of media publicity on neighbourhood gardening together.
- Added a greater involvement in sustainable gardening categories and support on both the environment and garden wildlife.
- Created guides, blogs and our monthly newsletter.
- Placed articles on communities every week in national news publications sharing the stories of the lives gardening transforms.
- We exceeded our past media equivalent spend to in more than £1,300,000.
- Another £20,000 in prizes judged, awarded and publicised to inspire others.
- Added Cultivation School to the campaign, supporting teachers & school clubs.
- Developed social media platforms on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook for communities & schools to share their experiences & advice with each other.
- Again generated over £1,000,000 of equivalent media spend in exposure for front and school gardens.
- The national competition broke records for number of entries and gave another £20,000 in prizes to communities, neighbourhoods and schools
- Refocused the campaign to encompass all aspects of community gardening.
- Added a dimension of supporting projects that are creatively producing great results in the smallest of spaces.
- The launch of our Ambassador scheme - a national network of 160 garden centres assigned a member of staff to be a dedicated point of contact for school or community gardens that need a hand and advice to get started.
- Creating a national database of all community gardens and encourage them to share ideas with each other.
- Creating a database of all community activities and supportive companies who offer free activities in parks and gardens across the UK.
- Setting up a national mentor scheme where community, school & neighbourhood leaders will be available to offer first hand advice to start-up gardening groups.
- We will have given over £100,000 of National Garden Gift Vouchers to schools & communities.
- Due to the success of the campaign a bespoke website has been launched.
- A dedicated team to build relationships further and support all participants.
- A prize pot of £21,000 with cash prizes to all competition winners. Taking the total amount given out over the past 6 years, to over £120,000.
- New sponsor announced - Calliope® Geraniums offering the chance to win Calliope® Geraniums that flower like no other.
- New category announced - Colour Your Life
- A new partnership with Tool Shed, a company who refurbish and distribute free tools to schools and communities.
Founder David Domoney explains the story behind Cultivation Street
It was Christmas, and I was walking down the local street when I noticed how the lights and decorations had become such a big part of the front of people’s houses.
What started as one or two eccentrics back in the late 90s has today become stunning lighting displays across whole streets. Seeing how it has pulled people together, with parents taking their children to see the magic of Christmas, I thought: wouldn’t it be marvellous if we could do that with gardens too?
So I decided to create a garden competition that recognises and rewards communities that are caring for their streets, as well as encouraging other communities to join together and start anew. It was originally conceived as a front garden campaign, but soon expanded to include community gardening projects, neighbourhood schemes and school gardens.
Creating beautiful gardens isn’t just about the end result – it’s the feel-good journey. It promotes respect for the community across all ages, teaches our children about nature and creates a space for everyone to enjoy and benefit from. I wanted to replicate this experience across the UK.
I joined forces with national newspaper the Sunday People and now the Sunday Mirror to get the message out to a huge audience and show just what could be achieved through community gardening. Not by TV gardeners or people in the industry, but by ordinary people who in many cases have never gardened before.
(Cultivation Street Winners 2017)
The entries and feedback were phenomenal and the stories were intensely emotional.
Back in 2013 and more recently 2018 the Cultivation Street front garden winners were Rockcliffe Avenue in Whitley Bay, where residents had battled with dog mess, graffiti and vandalism. They got together to transform the area with their front gardens, making sure that visitors respected it. That is one thing we pride ourselves in at Cultivation Street - not denying people the opportunity to enter again if they have been successful.
In 2014 in Kings Heath, Birmingham, there was a guy called Trevor who always used to sit on this park bench near some flats. He was an old guy with no family, and eventually a couple of the neighbours got talking to him. He said he liked to sit in the communal lawn of the block of flats because he used to have a house with a garden, but he could no longer afford it and now he was living in a flat.
So the neighbours started creating a garden for the community with Trevor, and eventually everybody got involved. Unfortunately, Trevor passed away as the garden was finished, but the essence of the community had already been built with his help and community gardening still continues today.
More recently in 2018 we've been inspired by a range of gardens, that target people's specific needs. With an ethos of accessibility and inclusion, 30 Armed Forces veterans have worked tirelessly to turn a once-neglected area of scrubland into a lush garden accessible to wheelchair users and amputees alike.
Project member, Linda Fisher, said: “Created by a formidable force of people who served Queen and Country, our garden has helped a significant number of people with anxiety, depression, mental health conditions, social isolation and loneliness. It’s a real community garden, with a community spirit.
Another garden that secured a Regional Community Garden prize in 2018 was the Tenby Day Centre in Wales. This fantastic project uses gardening as therapy for elderly people suffering from depression, loneliness and dementia. They have a remembrance rose garden, comfortable seating areas and a herb garden to stimulate the senses of partially-sighted visitors.
These stories are all incredibly inspirational, and seeing them published in national newspapers and magazines shows what can be achieved by communities. It’s no longer just a competition – it’s a significant community gardening campaign.
I think this is a campaign that embraces the very best of community pride and spirit. I hope we are supporting people who have been hugely successful with their own communities and inspiring others to give it a go.
Join our community gardening campaign! Engage with your neighbours, build stronger community bonds and make your community a nicer place to live.
Community gardens across the UK are not only growing rapidly in numbers but are also doing incredible work, transforming lives as well as the land itself.
Some are also working specially with those suffering from physical or mental disabilities; some give offenders a place to get work experience after leaving prison; some are used as a place to teach their community lessons about prejudice, racism and inequality; others are there simply for the joy, beauty and peace that comes from working with plants and helping them grow. The list is endless, but the benefits are clear. In fact, many hospitals and therapeutic centres now prescribe joining community garden projects as part of their healing and recovery programmes.
Cultivation Street is dedicated to support, inspire and cultivate this powerful and incredibly healthy pursuit wherever it springs up, as well as bringing publicity to the movement and teaching people how they can start their own projects.
Bring back community gardening and revitalise our streets
PROMOTE AND SUPPORT
Promote and support community gardening and school projects
Inspire people to take up gardening and grow their green skills
Draw communities together through gardening activities
Encourage healthier life styles through gardening
RECOGNISE AND REWARD
Recognise, reward and replicate the very best in British community gardening
REGISTER YOUR GARDEN
Are you part of a community gardening group? Or does your school, nursery or kids club have a garden?
Why not enter our competition and you could be in with a chance of winning a cash prize for your organisation. Take a look at our Competition page for more information.
REGISTER AS AN AMBASSADOR
Do you work in a Garden Centre
Do you love sharing your passion with the community?
Why not register to become a garden centre ambassador for Cultivation Street’s national community and school gardening campaign! It's not just rewarding, but if you enter our competition you may even win yourself a cash prize!
Take a look at our Ambassador page for more information.