Gardening will Save the World (starting with Barking and Dagenham...)


Picture Chelsea Flower Show. At its centre, a beautiful beacon of future ecological sustainability applying the principles of democratic design to urban farming.

Minus a few details you’ve just pictured “Gardening will save the world”, a collaboration between IKEA and Tom Dixon - world renowned designer - which will be on show at Chelsea between 21st and 25th May. 

Now imagine this same installation at the heart of one of London’s busiest industrial and development sites, maintained and developed by local residents taking its principles across the borough, making Barking and Dagenham greener, more sustainable and more collaborative. 

You’ve just pictured “Gardening will save the world” at the Every One Every Day Warehouse on Thames Road in Barking. 

To help fire your imagination, designer Tom Dixon describes the installation as “… an experimental model for growing plants in the urban environment. Aiming to give back to cities and create productive landscapes within urban zones, the garden includes a raised modular landscape with edible and medicinal plants and an enclosed based garden fuelled by hydroponic systems and controllable lighting”.


After the Flower Show closes its doors on the 25th May, this iconic installation - all 6000 parts of it (including 4000 plants and trees) - will be transported to the Warehouse in Barking to be reconstructed piece by piece by local residents across two weeks from 25th June as part of the Every One Every Day summer programme.

These residents, 40 of whom will have attended the Flower Show and completed shifts at the installation, will use the skills, knowledge and networks they develop to seed dozens of smaller projects across the borough. 

We will be celebrating the garden and more importantly the local people who have rebuilt it at a celebration supper on 26th August at the Warehouse. 

The installation - which will thrive at its new home for the remaining 3 years of the Every One Every Day project - and the projects it helps to spark will help to demonstrate how local people can contribute to the movement of growing at home, reducing food waste, and broadcasting the beauty and functional importance of urban horticulture.

For residents involved with the Every One Every Day project, this is more evidence that their collaborations and ideas are generating great interest outside Barking and Dagenham, bringing new and exciting organisations, ideas and projects to the borough. 

According to James Futcher, Creative Leader at IKEA Range and Supply, “this project is about bringing attention to the future of the environment and the importance of growing food locally. We want to create smart solutions to encourage people and make it easier to grow plants themselves anywhere they can, whether that’s in their community garden, rooftop or in containers on balconies and window sills.” 

The recent UN report on biodiversity demonstrated starkly that for us to survive and thrive, our cities must embrace this green future. Local residents in Barking and Dagenham inspired by “Gardening will save the world” at the Every One Every Day Warehouse will lead the way. Come and join them!

nat defriend