Petersham Nurseries has from its outset been quietly dedicated to supporting a number of community projects. Over the years this has ranged from donating raffle prizes of plants, books, restaurant and teahouse meals to local schools, organisations and charitable projects.
In the last three years, as a plants nursery dedicated to sustainability, growing-your-own and seasonality, we have also been compelled to support our community through projects to which we can more directly dedicate our expertise, proactively building relationships with a number of likeminded organisations and charities.
WHO ARE WE SUPPORTING IN 2015
The Holly Lodge Centre – www.thehollylodgecentre.org.uk
Our chosen charity of 2015 is The Holly Lodge Centre in Richmond Park. This wonderful organisation offers groups of children, young people and adults, particularly those with special educational needs, a hands-on experience of Richmond Park and its diverse wildlife and distinct heritage. Future updates to follow. (A BIG thank you to everyone who visited Petersham House open garden on Sunday 14th June 2015. We raised an impressive £881 for the @HollyLodgeCentr)
School Food Matters - www.schoolfoodmatters.com
In the last three years we have decided to focus and evolve, to "donate our expertise", proactively helping our most immediate local neighbouring schools primarily through the School Food Matters scheme. This has seen us donate mature fruit trees, vegetable seed collections, as well as our time, and offer a special further discount to all schools in the Borough as part of this wonderful scheme since 2013. The education of the next generation of gardeners and cooks, instilling an early knowledge and appreciation of a plot to plate mentality, is something we wholeheartedly and joyfully support. Our head gardener and culinary consultant Lucy Boyd has spent mornings in local primary schools harvesting the fruits of the children’s' labours and then teaching them to create simple, delicious dishes from their bounty. Most recently Lucy rose to the challenge set by local charity School Food Matters to give two Kitchen Garden Ideas sessions. The first on 30th June 2014 with two Richmond schools to celebrate Grow Your Own Picnic day. The second on 18th June 2015, with students from Marlborough Primary School in Kensington and Chelsea. Click here to read about their visit.
Petersham & Ham Sea Scouts - www.pandhseascouts.org.uk
The local Sea Scouts are a wonderful organisation which offer free events and activities for children of all ages. Petersham Nurseries has been supporting this fantastic group of local children for the past 8 years, by donating our time and resources hosting free hands-on workshops at Petersham Nurseries. In December 2013 our horticultural experts encouraged the Beavers (6 – 8 years old) to protect wildlife in their gardens the cold winter months by hosting a ‘make your own nesting box’ evening. We recently repeated this event with the Cubs (8 – 10.5 years old) in October 2014. Looking ahead to 2015 – we hope to host spring gardening events including sowing your own salads, to grow your own sunflowers.
Petersham Horticultural Society - www.petershamhorticulturalsociety.org.uk
Following a successful wreath making demonstration in December 2013, the debut of what we hope to be a series of free events for members of the Petersham Horticultural Society (PHS), our horticultural expert and manager Thomas Broom attended as the key speaker at the recent PHS AGM in March 2014. He spoke on British Flowers, the joys of growing you own cut flowers and flower arranging. Members of the PHS are welcome to 10% off plants and garden sundries, plus 50% offer on the majority of our gardening events.
The National Gardens Scheme - www.ngs.org.uk
Annually our calendar includes the opening of Petersham House Garden (adjacent to Petersham Nurseries) the private garden of Petersham Nurseries' owners Francesco & Gael Boglione. All funds raised from the small entrance fees are donated to the National Gardens Scheme – a registered charity. The NGS opens thousands of outstanding gardens throughout England and Wales to raise money for nursing and caring charities. Since the foundation began it has given more than £42.5 million to charity. Petersham House Garden will open to the public Sunday 7th June & Sunday 6th September 2015.
2013 was also the inaugural year of the Petersham Platform founded by our Managing Director Lara Boglione. This venture encapsulates the belief that on a macro and micro level we do not operate in a vacuum; to this end it has been Lara's desire to create a space for discussion, education and expression, aiming to engage with the community of fellow thinkers on issues of sustainability, gastronomy, agriculture and ethnobotany, an ethos and thinking that is fundamental to Petersham Nurseries and spread across all business functions.
*Petersham Nurseries Café is a member of the Slow Food Supporters Scheme and able to demonstrate its commitment to good, clean and fair ingredients - www.slowfood.org.uk
*Take your #pigpledge today!... and join the worldwide movement to only eat meat from real farms, not animal factories @PigBusiness – www.pigpledge.org
*Petersham Nurseries Café has just joined the Sustainable Restaurant Association - www.thesra.org
LOOKING BACK AT 2013 & 2014
*We welcomed the Cassel Hospital Gardening Club to spend time in Petersham House Garden with Lucy Boyd.
*Our Assistant Teahouse Manager Kamil Szymanski hosted a day with students from Clarendon School - a special day school for 120 pupils aged 7 to 16 with moderate learning difficulties and autistic spectrum conditions.
*Thomas Broom and our horticultural team donated fruit trees to Cultivating Minds, an Ecotherapy group run by Richmond Borough Mind that supports people to improve their mental health and wellbeing by getting in touch with nature. The group is a chance to get outside, socialise and stay active through gardening at RB Minds beautiful borough allotments, educational trips to Kew, nature walks in Richmond Park, or creative and educational workshops.
*We took part in the 2013 Chelsea Fringe Festival transforming the displays throughout the nursery into a celebration of all plants medicinal and edible. This year for the duration of the Chelsea Fringe 2014 (17 May to 8 June) Petersham Nurseries showcased 'The Flower Theatre'. Click here for full details. The Chelsea Fringe is an open-access festival which is a celebration of everything to do with gardens, plants, landscape and the environment.
*The restaurant have pledged lunches at Petersham Nurseries Café to a whole host of Silent Auctions, including to the charity Many Hopes, the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Ball, Macmillan’s Celebrity Christmas Stocking Auction, as well as to our neighbour Orleans House Gallery (which houses the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames Art Collection, one of the most outstanding fine art collections in London outside of National collections), to name but a few.
*Gael & Francesco Boglione opened their garden as part of the Petersham Village Open Garden Day. All funds raised from the small entrance fees are donated to the Petersham Environment Trust - a charitable trust dedicated to help fund environmental causes in and around Petersham, with funds this year allocated to restoring and maintaining the much neglected Petersham Lodge Woods - a natural habitat for many wild and endangered species.
*We would like to take this opportunity to thank those of you who dined within the restaurant in 2014 and helped with our support of the charity Chain of Hope through an optional £1.00 donation added to every restaurant bill. Chain of Hope is close to Lara Boglione’s heart, as she has been a patron for over 10 years. The charity provides vital medical treatment for children around the world suffering from heart disease, mobilising volunteer specialist teams to fly overseas to provide life-saving treatment for children from war-torn or developing countries. From January to March 2014 we raised £1,600.00.
PREVIOUS CHOSEN CHARITIES
2014 - Latchmere School, a community school in Kingston-Upon-Thames. Through plant donations and advice Petersham Nurseries has supported their new launched infants Gardening Club. Olivia Besser & Kate Foser who started the project wrote recently: “The children have loved the club! It has been a huge success, not only in reaping fabulous produce, but in inspiring the children to grow plants, nurture them and want to understand more about them. The herbs you provided have been a huge hit. Kate and I are often at school during lunchtimes, weeding and watering, and are surrounded by children wanting to smell and taste the herbs. They proudly take them back to their class to share with their friends and teachers. The sweet peas have been a wonderful talking point, not only smelling & looking beautiful, but also allowing the children to get creative. During the past two gardening clubs we've given the children scissors and ribbon wrapped jam jars, and they have absolutely loved cutting and arranging the sweet peas for their teacher's desks. They were so proud of themselves and it wouldn't have been possible without your kind donations. Infant teachers have also been using the vegetable beds for more formal learning, and everyone comments on how fabulous they look, including our Headteacher. The biggest raised bed runs alongside our specialist autism unit, and we've been told that these children have loved watching everything grow”.
2013 - May 2013 saw us plant up the new sensory garden at Oaklands School in Isleworth. The garden caters as a calming, creative space for profoundly disabled children. All the plants are there to engage at least one of the five senses: a harmonious, tangible, fragrant, vivid, ticklish, sonorous (when the wind is blowing) and edible display of flora to touch, taste, see, smell and hear. The inaugural opening tea party after the choir had sung ended with a joyful "seedbombing" to create a patch of wildflower meadow. At the start of 2014, Petersham Nurseries helped introduce new life to the garden by donating Nigella and Cornflower seeds in order that the students could create a colourful flower bed. We look forward to seeing it in bloom later this year!
For more details of our ongoing charitable and philanthropic projects please sign up to our newsletter, or browse our blog as we continue to update you as to our community projects both within and without of Petersham Nurseries' walls.