PoliNations Pop Up Garden

Birmingham gears up for an epic pop-up garden festival this September as hundreds of locals start growing marigolds


Download the "PoliNations Pop Up Garden" press release (PDF)

Today, 10th May 2022, hundreds of children and adults across Birmingham began growing flowers in preparation for the spectacular pop-up garden festival PoliNations taking place from 2-18 September. Produced by Trigger Collective as a part of UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK, PoliNations will turn Birmingham’s city centre into an urban oasis for a celebration of the cross-pollination that has shaped British culture.

Over the next 4 months, over 1000 people from 60 diverse community groups across the city will be growing calendula flowers, commonly known as marigold. The project will culminate in the co-planting of 600 marigolds in the magical PoliNations pop-up garden. After the two-week festival, all plants will go back out into Birmingham to re-green the city.

Open to all, PoliNations is part of the UK-wide UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK, and will bring the cultural programme for the Birmingham 2022 Festival to a spectacular close. Through free events, workshops, and performances including live music, dance, spoken word and drag, the festival will celebrate the beauty, colour, and diversity that makes up British horticulture and culture. Up-and-coming and renowned artists from Birmingham and beyond will perform under the shelter of giant architectural trees and surrounded by thousands of colourful plants.

The groups involved in the mass growing project reflect the diversity of Birmingham’s communities, ranging from youth to elderly groups, from expert gardeners to total beginners, including refugee groups, women’s groups, and disability action groups. Among the local communities involved include Saheli Hub, a women and girls group focused on community wellbeing; Kinmos, a mental health charity; Women with Hope, a charity dedicated to improving the lives of women asylum-seekers, refugees and migrants; Open Theatre, working with young people with learning disabilities on non-verbal physical theatre; the Czech and Slovak Club, which promotes the welfare and culture of the Czech and Slovak community living in UK; the volunteer growing group Highbury Orchard Community; and Birmingham Cathedral.