Regional designs for Olympic park

A shop window for British horticulture is how the concept of regional gardens for the planned Olympic park has been described.

Senior ministers have expressed interest in a regional garden feature for the 2012 London Olympic park that is set to provide a shop window for British horticulture. Brian Jenkins MP suggested the idea to DEFRA secretary of state Margaret Beckett last week. Beckett said the idea of regional gardens worked well within the theme of the games and that she would seek DCMS minister Tessa Jowell’s views. The idea is for 10 regional development agencies plus Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to hold competitions for 13 permanent gardens to be built in London. Jenkins said: “This will give DEFRA a prominent role in promoting the industry.” He also wants to involve schools and have local politicians opening identical gardens in their own regions to demonstrate that “it’s a British Olympics, rather than a London one”. All-Party Gardening & Horticulture Group secretary Brian Donohoe said sports minister Richard Caborn has backed the idea for the gardens.

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