Londoners will get a surprise next Friday (20th May) morning when they cross Trafalgar Square to work, as it is set to be re-named Tomato Square as 100,000 tomato plants descend on the famous London landmark.
From 6:30am, a team of tomato dressed helpers from B&Q, the UK’s largest garden centre retailer, will be giving away two lorry loads of tomato plants in a bid to get the capital growing their own fruit and veg. B&Q has been campaigning to get Brits enjoying their gardens with their Let’s Get Gardening campaign which aims to make it easier for customers to tackle gardening jobs with their gardening project demos and deals.
The Tomato Flash Grow is in partnership with the Capital Growth campaign, which offers practical help, grants, training and support to groups wanting to establish community food – growing projects in London. The Greater London Authority (GLA) is also involved and is a dedicated team whose aim is to support both the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson and the London community. Capital Growth is a partnership between London Food Link, the Mayor of London Boris Johnson and the Big Lottery’s Local Food Fund, aiming to create 2,012 new community food-growing spaces across London, by the end of 2012.
Boris Johnson, said: “London has embraced the ‘grow your own’ revival as testified by the army of 35,000 volunteers involved in our Capital Growth scheme. This green fingered bunch is helping to beautify our city and bind communities together in a shared passion. I hope this tomato plant giveaway will entice a new crop of Londoners to get the gardening bug, put on some wellies and join up to Capital Growth.’
Last year B&Q sold 214,000 tomato packs of seeds and 250,000 tomato plants making it one of B&Q’s most popular fruits to grow. B&Q’s Let’s Get Gardening campaign revealed that 37 per cent of the nation plan to grow their own veg to eat this year and 57 per cent has their own vegetable patch.
Britain’s favourite gardener and B&Q Ambassador, Alan Titchmarsh says: “I’m delighted to support B&Q’s tomato plant give-away where 100,000 tomato plants will be given away in Trafalgar Square this Friday (20 May 2011). The Let’s Get Gardening campaign is all about encouraging everyone to start gardening and growing. No matter what size your outdoor space from a window sill to an allotment, the campaign makes it easier for everyone to grow a bit of the ‘Good Life’.”
Steve Guy, Horticulture Trading Manager at B&Q said; “We’re hoping that Londoners will snap up our free tomato plants and put them to good use by planting them in their outdoor space, no matter the size. We predict that all 100,000 will be gone by lunchtime, so those wanting one should arrive early to avoid disappointment.”
One lucky Londoner will also get the chance to visit The B&Q Garden at The RHS Chelsea Flower Show as one ticket will be hidden within a plant. The nine metre high vertical garden will be entirely edible to showcase how everyone can grow their own food, however large or small their outdoor space, from a large garden or a balcony, to the tiniest window-box.
Rosie Boycott, Chair of London Food and Capital Growth said: “Capital Growth is delighted to be working with B&Q on this fantastic and imaginative event. More and more people are rediscovering the joy of food growing whether in a pot on their window sill, in their garden or as part of a community plot. I hope the gift of a tomato plant inspires even more people to give it a go.”