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‘Common Ground’ Gardeners’ World Live 2024 Exhibition

We are excited to have been selected to design and create a new border at the Gardeners World Live Exhibition, from 13-16 June 2024.

a landscape graphic of a garden design. At the centre of the image, against a cream background, there is a drawing of a variety of plants and flowers growing on different levels of the ground. Tree trunks stand in the centre of the image. The flowers and brightly coloured in yellows and pinks, and the bright green leaves stand out against the brown and cream.

‘Common Ground’ Border design for Gardeners’ World Live, 2024. Image by Matt Cox and Kieran.

Our border garden design reflects our work in exploring social and environmental repair within the context of post-industrial canalside sites in Digbeth.

Working collaboratively with artist collective Cooking Sections we have been exploring the Canalside site through a series of year-long artistic commissions. In 2021 we initiated our first commission with international artist Asad Raza. This new work, ‘Reabsorption’, took the form of a metabolic process occupying the entirety of the field site, creating a unique form of remediation.

This Canalside heritage site literally holds Digbeth’s history in its soil. As such, the land here contains toxic heavy metals, including lead and arsenic, at levels that are above the safe limits for humans, other animals, and plants. Yet despite this, life flourishes here.

Humans disturb the soil, and campion and celandine spring to life. Nettles host thousands of caterpillar dinners and the clover, willowherb, and achillea bob with pollinators. Among these hardy, predictable characters we’ve added experimental phytoremediators; sunflowers and mustard greens, water Crowfoot, and red fescue.

The resulting border design tells a beautiful story of resistance that flourishes despite adversity, how nature is able to remediate and also what we can do as humans to support remediation.  

Designed by Kieran & Matt 

Raised and created by Kieran, Matt, The Cultivators

Installed with Support from the wider Growing Project Community, Avalon Landscapes