Raymond Blanc OBE will join the Watlington community in Oxfordshire on 15 May to meet the local RHS Britain in Bloom team that has spent the winter and spring preparing for the regional and national competition in 2013.
Blanc is a supporter of the RHS theme ‘Edible Britain’, that encourages communities to grow local produce in allotments, gardens and public places.
Watlington in Bloom has twice won gold awards in the regional competition sponsored by the RHS. This year the team will ompete with other ‘large villages’ across Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Blanc’s Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons is in nearby Great Milton. He said: "I am delighted to be part of a campaign that adds so much value to local communities. There are so many wonderful ideas to grow food even in smaller spaces – from produce in hanging baskets to community herb boxes.
In Watlington, Blanc will see local people working in the pocket park – Mansle Garden. They have planted vines and herbs in raised beds within a woodland glade. They are one of Watlington’s ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ groups – residents in a small part of the town, taken on the look and feel of their close area.
At the Watlington Care Home run by the not-for-profit company, Sanctuary Care, Blanc will find members of the local gardening club working with professional staff and residents planting food products in beds and greenhouses.
The land of the Home was bought by a local trust from the NHS following the closure of the hospital, after a fund raising effort.