Cardiff Council and Llandaff North Residents' Association have a show garden at the RHS show Cardiff 2012. Afterwards, the garden will be moved to its permanent site in Llandaff North.

Project background

How the garden came about

In October 2011 I met with a Cardiff Council Park’s manager about another garden project in Llandaff North. We got chatting and talked about me studying garden design at UWIC where the council employees used to train. I happened to have my coursework in my folder and he took an interest in it. When he saw my community garden design he said it would make a nice show garden; that the council didn’t have a garden planned for the show, and that they would like to showcase my garden at RHS Cardiff in 2012!

After the show, the garden will be relocated to its final site on Station Rd, Llandaff North, Cardiff.

In December 2011 we submitted an application to the RHS, which was accepted in early 2012.

The garden site
The site is currently laid to grass, rather uninteresting and dogs occasionally foul there.
Local residents had been asking for a community noticeboard and a focal point for the community
The landowners, JCDecaux, have kindly agreed to give us a lease for a peppercorn rent.

About ‘A growing community’ garden
Garden Theme:
·    Bringing the community together in partnership.
·    Noticeboard will educate and engage, seating for a place to rest and promotes socialising.
·    The project and future maintenance by residents, school, KWT etc will engage and cohere the community.
·    Relatively simple design, affordable and sustainable.
·    The garden has a paved area for easy access, and planting (bulbs, herbaceous perennials, shrubs and annuals) for spring colour and fragrance.

Theme inspiration:
·    Existing space not currently used, community lacks a focal point and noticeboard.
·    Improving what we have, helping reduce crime, making the area more attractive, pleasant and sustainable.
·    A looked after space with a community focused purpose ie communication, socialising, resting, cohesion, that is practical.
·    The garden has been designed to be robust and to minimise antisocial behaviour.
·    We hope to inspire other community groups into looking at their local spaces and doing something similar.
·    The project demonstrates what can be achieved in partnership: from volunteer input, to support by Cardiff Council, sponsors, schools who will help maintain the garden once in situ in the village.

Working within limits
The design had to work within strict limits ie, keep the advertising hoarding*; irregular shaped site; keep the existing street lamp; keep existing fencing; planting must not block the hoarding (ie kept low).
* The RHS do not allow branding on site, so we will represent the ad hoarding using artwork.

Brett landscaping  (hard landscaping)
Co-operative Cymru Wales (soft landscaping)
Pugh’s garden centre  (soft landscaping)
HSS hire (phase II security fencing)
Unite Cardiff and Health service branch

Llandaff North Residents’ Association
We were established in 2008 and are dedicated to improving Llandaff North, and services to it, for local residents. We hold regular volunteer activities that include clearing litter, graffiti removal, vegetation removal and residents’ meetings.
We work in partnership with Keep Wales Tidy, South Wales Police, Hawthorn primary school, Cardiff Council and elected representatives.
Our website is

"LNRA is thrilled to have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be part of the prestigious RHS show, and to be working with Cardiff Council, partners and sponsors. Working with Cardiff parks staff who are experts in their field, is a real privilege. It’s a steep learning curve but I’m loving every minute of it.
We only have a tiny scrap of land in Llandaff North, but it can become a really useful and pleasant space. I really hope we can inspire other community groups to start their own projects. Sometimes it’s a matter of having an idea and just going for it. There have been hurdles to overcome, but I generally find that most people are happy to help if they can. I think the project also demonstrates what can be achieved when people and organisations come together. On our own, none of us could achieve the garden, but by working together, we can all benefit.
Because I have some garden design training, (and luckily I work part time), I’m pretty hands-on as project lead, which has benefited the council as it frees up their staff for other work. Brett in particular has been really helpful and has put in a lot of time and effort to support us and we’re very grateful. I would definitely use them/their products again.
I also have excellent support from the LNRA committee members, two of whom are putting their honeymoon on hold to take part!
Like everyone else, I’m praying for good weather for the show!"
Steph Wilkins