The School Food Matters Garden, designed by Harry Holding has won the prestigious People’s Choice Award at the 2023 RHS Chelsea Flower Show under the category of ‘Best Sanctuary’. Cemfree was specified for the garden, so that the design could incorporate major carbon savings through Cemfree’s ultra-low carbon cement alternatives, highlighting a further win for the growing acclaim towards sustainable landscaping practices.
Harry Holding Studio worked alongside Landscape Associates on behalf of the charity School Food Matters to create the sanctuary. The garden’s purpose was to offer an immersive landscape, rich with edible plant life, inviting children to explore and engage their senses, with the ultimate objective of instilling the idea that every child has the right to nature, a healthy planet and nutritious food, The design includes child-sized pathways and curved garden walls for the children to write messages about climate change on.
Harry Holding specified Cemfree Optima, a proprietary Alkali-Activated Cementitious Material (AACM) that activates pozzolanic materials such as Ground Granulated Blast Furnace Slag (GGBS) and Pulverised Fly Ash (PFA) to create a concrete that performs in a similar way to traditional Portland Cement (PC) but offers up to 85% reduction in carbon emissions.
Cemfree Optima played a vital role in stabilising the garden’s curved rammed earth walls, brilliantly showcasing the versatility and workability of Cemfree’s exceptional product range. By utilising Cemfree Optima, Harry Holding successfully translated his vision into an environmentally conscious design, minimising carbon impact and promoting a positive ecological footprint.
The School Food Matters Garden left a lasting impression on visitors at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2023, captivating them with its profound message and the innovative inclusion of revolutionary products like Cemfree. As a result, the public voted for the garden to win ‘Best Sanctuary’ in the entire exhibition during the People’s Choice Awards.
Harry Holding said: “Using Cemfree has meant we could create a sustainable, zero cement garden. Cemfree makes up 10% of our stabilised rammed earth walls and it delivered a wonderful finish. The slightly lighter tone meant that our walls really popped and felt lightweight despite the largest one weighing in at 6 tonnes! I would highly recommend it as a cement alternative and I am looking forward to using it on future projects.”
The School Food Matters Garden serves as a powerful testament that by embracing a cement-free future and using ultra-low carbon products, sustainability and beauty can seamlessly blend for landscaped gardens that capture people’s votes and hearts.