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B&Q Sentebale ‘Forget-me-not’ garden at Chelsea

Charity garden partnership set to put “forgotten kingdom” on the map

B&Q, the UK’s leading home improvement retailer, announces today (29 November 2012) that it is to partner with Sentebale, a children’s charity founded by Prince Harry and Prince Seeiso of Lesotho at next year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show. The garden will be designed by landscape and garden designer, Jinny Blom.

The objective of the partnership is to raise awareness of the charity whose role is supporting Lesotho’s most needy and vulnerable children, many of whom are victims of extreme poverty and Lesotho’s HIV/AIDs epidemic.

Sentebale which means ‘forget me not’ in Sesotho (the language spoken in Lesotho), was set up in 2006 in memory of Prince Harry’s and Prince Seeiso’s mothers. The charity works in partnership with the Basotho people at all levels to provide health care and education to the most needy children; in particular those suffering with the HIV infection, children with disabilities, orphans and herd boys whose livelihood limits their access to education. The ‘Forget-Me-Not’ theme will be an important part of the partnership and the garden.

B&Q will work with the charity to raise awareness in store and online with customers and colleagues with a campaign that will launch around Mother’s Day in the build up to the 100th RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Lesotho is known as the Forgotten Kingdom. The overall design of the garden is inspired by traditional features of Lesotho, in particular, the repetitive circular motif found in the landscape, buildings, hats and blankets of Lesotho, and represents the love and protection of the family in a country fractured by AIDS leaving many children vulnerable.

Martyn Phillips, CEO of B&Q UK & Ireland says: “Through this partnership we are keen to build awareness for the charity and underline the importance of family and community across all our stores. This is about bringing our Chelsea partnership to every community in which we operate so that families all over the country can celebrate the tradition of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in its 100th year whilst raising funds and awareness for Sentebale.”

Jinny Blom, garden landscaper and designer says: “Lesotho has a fascinating landscape and culture that confounds one’s expectations of what makes a country ‘African’.  Lesotho’s climate is akin to that of Wales with which it is twinned, cool and damp, hence the need for wearing thick blankets. The garden at Chelsea Flower Show is a contemporary evocation of the mountains, round houses and wonderfully unusual blanket designs that are the national costume.  I am hoping to express not only the beauty and rich culture yet also the inaccessibility and fragility of the country. Some of the native flora, such as Nemesia and Silene fimbriata, will be known to British gardeners.”

Cathy Ferrier, CEO of Sentebale, says: “Sentebale are delighted to be partnering with B&Q for next year’s Chelsea Flower Show. Garden landscaper and designer, Jinny Blom, has created a truly inspirational garden that we hope will raise awareness of the charity and encourage many people to support our work in helping the most vulnerable children in Lesotho.”

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