For over a year TTT has been facilitating Rooting in Tooting project activities with diverse groups of all ages via the Tooting charity CARAS (Community Action for Refugees and Asylum-Seekers).

Yesterday we accompanied a group from the CARAS Youth Club to explore the build of the Border Control show garden at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show which opens on 5 July.

Not ‘herbaceous borders’…. the garden is aiming to illustrate the physical and emotional challenges and successes faced by refugees: goals, barriers, borders, setbacks, surprises, hopes and fears.

The show garden is the creation of 2 designers Tom Massey and John Ward, and supported by the UN Refugee Agency. Thanks to you all for the hospitality and discussions!

Photo: Paul Wu UNHCR

The young people met Mark Tran from The Guardian, and here is a link so you can read his article published today, titled Hampton Court Palace flower show to highlight plight of refugees.

There were many more human stories just in the short journey we made together yesterday. For some of the young people it was their first ever train trip. “Look how big the river is here…where does it come from?” The dozens of teams of contractors on site made us wonder “how do they all know what to do..?”

At the security gate we filled in forms and collected wrist ID along with our high-vis vests and brand new safety boots (thanks to Chris at the RHS, to Tom and Mark and to Laura from UNHCR for sorting all that out).

We gazed thorough another fence at the semi-wild deer living in the park. In a preview of the butterfly dome, the free-flying insects settled on our shoulders and on the lantana flowers: “we have that plant everywhere in Afghanistan”.

The build will be completed this weekend (it has to be) and on show all next week. The CARAS Youth Club will go again to see the finished garden. Maybe there will be other local visitors from Growing Tooting grow-your-own classes.
Do visit Border Control & say you’re connected with TTT and our optimistic work with partners in Tooting.

It’s the largest flower show in the world – have an eye-opening trip if you go!