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Autumn 2021Petrus at RHS Flower Show

Rochdale-based homelessness charity Petrus Community celebrated a double victory after winning two awards at this year’s Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Flower Show Tatton Park.

Their exhibition, a double back-to-back garden titled ‘Full Circle’, featured innovative ideas for dealing with excess water to highlight the impact of flooding.

Featuring repeated planting of bamboo along a back wall and a green roof on a seating gazebo, not only to attract wildlife, but help slow rain fall, the garden was inspired by Rochdale being increasingly affected by flooding in the last few years.

Amid climate change concerns and increased local flooding, Petrus service users, volunteers and staff designed the garden to reflect the need to go back to nature to find solutions.

The features included can be achieved in almost any garden to reduce water runoff, and the Petrus team shared what the community and gardeners can do to help the situation and become more flood resilient at Tatton Park.

Going off a public vote, Petrus was announced as the People’s Choice Award winner for Full Circle. Not only this, but the garden was also awarded a bronze medal overall.

This is the second time the group has been part of the show, after receiving a silver medal in 2019.

Announcing their win on social media, Petrus Community wrote: “We’re speechless and incredibly grateful to everyone who voted for and loved our service users and volunteers’ garden. This means so much to them and our charity."

Many of Petrus’ service users and volunteers have multiple and complex needs or have experienced homelessness and engage with the charity’s community allotment - Petrus Incredible Edible Rochdale (PIER) - which supports individuals out of negative routines through improved social, mental, and physical wellbeing.

Designed by Rachael Bennion and Petrus Community, sponsors of the garden were M&Y Maintenance and Construction, Regenda Homes, and The Rotary Club of Rochdale.