Co-Creating a Tea and Edible Flower Garden with our Community

In early 2023, our Kitchen Garden Apprentice, Lauren Jennings, and Community Participation Manager, Harvinder Kaur Bahra, began to co-design a tea and edible flower garden in partnership with two local community groups: Trinjan and the Masbro Elders Project.

Here they share their process of co-creating a green space with and for local communities in our beautiful Kitchen Garden.

Masbro Elders Project, sowing seeds in the Melon House. March 2023.

A Garden Plot

In 2022, Lauren was given the task of re-developing a plot in the Kitchen Garden. Full of ideas, but keen to create something in keeping with the function of the Kitchen Garden, Lauren settled on the idea of an edible flower and tea garden. Creating a plot filled with an array of edible flowers and plants that can be used to make a variety of herbal teas.

Trinjan in the Kitchen Garden. March 2023.

However, designing a garden is always more fun when you involve others. For our community groups, the Kitchen Garden has become a much-loved space of sanctuary, wellbeing and creativity. Lauren decided the creation of the tea and edible flower garden would be much enriched through the knowledge, input and involvement of our community partners. Helping to deepen their engagement and sense of belonging in a space they already adored.

Learning from our community

In late November 2022 when the Kitchen Garden had been bedding down for winter, and the idea of a planting a garden seems like an unreasonable (and cold) task, we introduced the idea of creating a tea garden to our two local community groups: the Masbro Elders Project, which supports older adults living in Hammersmith and Fulham, and Trinjan, a Women’s Group based in Hounslow, supporting local women.

Lauren and the Masbro Elders Project in the Kitchen Garden. April 2023.

Together we explored the kind of plants they would like to see included. Conversations spanned the globe and touched upon all aspects of our lives. From the teas they like to make and drink, ceremonial teas and rituals, herbal infusions and medicinal remedies. Plants put forward included: tulsi, mint, lavender, camomile, coriander, marjoram, oregano, lemon grass, thyme, passionflower, echinacea, calendula for both taste and various remedies to help with an upset stomach, digestion, better sleep and menopausal symptoms.

It was so exciting to see the tea garden plot laid out, we are very privileged to be in at the start and part of such a lovely project.

Masbro Elders Project in the Kitchen Garden. May 2023.

I had a very joyful experience to visit the Kitchen Garden. Plenty to learn and have plenty of knowledge to share with group.

Brewing a Garden

After the initial consultations, we ran a series of workshops from Feb to May for the community groups to help us prepare the plot, sow the seeds, plant out the seedlings and tend the garden until it was ready to begin harvesting, brewing and tasting our very own tea infusions.

Edible flowers in the Kitchen Garden.

Had a very good afternoon, learnt a lot about seedlings and different teas. I enjoyed doing some planting and hope to see what it looks like as the months go on.

Co-creating a garden in partnership with our community partners has been a delight from consultation stage to planting out. Our community groups often think that we are sharing our skills with them but the learning goes both ways. We have learnt as much from our groups about the meaning plants have for them, how they are used, their cultural and medicinal importance and the stories they hold. Working together has strengthened our engagement with our local community and the garden itself, and has helped to create a beautiful lasting legacy for all visitors to enjoy.

Its so exciting to see this idea turn into a real garden.

Edible flowers and Tea Garden in the Kitchen Garden.

Like a good cup of tea, co-creating a garden takes time to brew, working with good quality ingredients, in this case our community partners, and it always tastes better when shared, doing wonders for our wellbeing! Come see the beautiful co-developed tea and edible flower garden and pick your very own tea to enjoy.

The ladies from Trinjan sowing seeds

The Kitchen Garden is open Thursday-Sunday, 11am-4pm until 29 October.

More Information

Read more about our Growing Together at Chiswick House community programme or email: to find out how you can get involved.

Read more about edible flowers here.