I’m sure everybody is now aware of the Huxley Cup competition mentioned in WI Life magazine. Unfortunately, the winning WI cannot now construct its design of a raised bed at Hampton Court Flower Show, as the WI won’t be attending as a ‘body’ due to the Covid-19 situation. However, the updated competition schedule is more flexible, in that we are now invited to design a flower bed, which could be a raised bed, for a community space.
Moreover, we are encouraged to work together as WIs, which, on a wider level, supports our Centenary plans regarding community efforts. Your WI could enter the finished product into the competition, or just do it for your community.
The choice of plants is up to you. Your members could all contribute their favourites and say why this is. My favourite has always been the pansy. I’ve loved it ever since I was at nursery school, where I was given a picture of that flower, instead of a name tag, for my coat peg, my pinafore, my bedding (we had a rest after lunch), and my flannel and towel. I’ve been planting them in my gardens ever since as they are easy to grow and colourful always. If everyone involved chose their favourite, for whatever reason, we would, surely, end up with a variety of shape, height, texture and colour.
Or you could plant vegetables: they can produce a riot of colour with the added advantage of being edible. I once saw an amazing design of carrots, cabbages and many more, outside Leeds Town Hall!
Where to plant your bed? This would have to be considered, depending on what you plan to grow. I’ve already been in contact with our local church, and the gardeners there would be delighted for a WI to plant anything we like! If you chose to use a public space, you would need to contact the council, or whoever owns the space, and they would probably want to see the plans before giving permission.
There is help on getting started on the website, including tips from the RHS.
All the competition details can be found on the My WI website, and WIs have until August 2021 to submit a design. You will of course need to follow the current covid guidelines, which means we may not be able to plant our ideas in time for flowering this year—we can always plant it later, or even next year.
So get designing and make a ‘mood board’ for somewhere in your community.