The Doorstep Library Garden at the Chelsea Flower Show will celebrate the magic of reading as well as the importance of rainforests. Brought to life by a creative collaboration between designers, landscapers, artisans, and passionate book experts, the balcony garden will have these themes at its heart.
The garden window seat will be repurposed after the Show and live on at the Max Roach Centre4 in Brixton. Children can curl up on the seat, read the selection of nature books accompanying it, and enjoy a new rainforest mural commissioned for the space, telling the story of the garden.
As many as a fifth of children aged 5-8 do now own a book and a quarter leave primary school unable to read properly. Doorstep Library claims to make a difference to children and families from disadvantaged areas through effective action: trained reading volunteers bring the joy of reading directly into the homes of children who need support from the early years to age 11, bringing books, reading them stories, and enabling them to feel the achievement of learning to read themselves. Volunteers transform the lives of families and children far beyond the point where they pack up their bag of books and step out of a Doorstep Library family’s home, or wave goodbye over the computer screen, for the last time.
Reading can also help everyone connect with the natural world. Many species around the world are in decline. The garden will be a resource that will enable gardeners to make informed choices about sustainably sourced timbers with a low carbon footprint for their own gardens.
Timbers grown in the UK and Europe will be listed which are suitable for long-lasting outdoor use, provide information about certification by the FSC and PEFC, and about using reclaimed timber which reduces the need for new trees to be felled.
After the show, the garden and the books in the garden bookcases will be relocated to the Max Roach Centre in Brixton and will continue to inspire long after the Show has wrapped up.