Down to Earth is a new, annual event that brings together the UAE’s growing community of gardeners, green-fingered enthusiasts, the eco-conscious and sustainability-aware. The gathering also debuts Grow & Tell, a new participatory live community showcase of the UAE’s most exciting gardens – from indoor jungles to established plots. Amateur home gardeners in the UAE are invited to apply by November 30, 2020.

Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai’s contemporary art institution, announces Down to Earth, a free, day-long gathering designed with and for the UAE’s growing eco- and socially-conscious community. The first-of-its-kind event will feature an accessible range of entertaining and educational activities, including a green bazaar, talks and workshops for all ages. The event takes place outdoors in the Jameel Arts Centre gardens and Sculpture Park, on Saturday, December 12 from 10:00am to 6:00pm.

From the balcony vegetable farmer to the highrise jungle enthusiast to the suburban oasis dweller, Down to Earth has something for everyone. The gathering includes workshops, demos, giveaways and information stalls for children, teens and adults covering subjects ranging from caring for houseplants, potting, composting to Japanese flower arranging and innovative table setting. Guided tours of Jameel Arts Centre’s famed desert gardens led by botanists and curators as well as a programme of children’s activities will run throughout the day. The full schedule of events and speakers will be announced early December.

Down to Earth activities include:

  • Workshops, demos and information stalls: discussing garden-growing, potting, composting, flower arranging, forest-making and more
  • A green bazaar: stalls featuring everything one needs to grow, nurture and accessorise a broad variety of indoor and outdoor gardens, plus related eco-conscious and sustainability-aware gifts and products
  • Talks and guided tours: botanist- and curator-led guided tours of Jameel Arts Centre’s desert and artist’s gardens, plus talks by regional specialists and expert hobbyists on sustainability, self-sufficiency, gardening and more
  • Food: food stalls, as well as designated picnic areas across the Jaddaf Waterfront Sculpture Park
  • Grow & Tell: a popular, lively talks event featuring selected top amateur gardeners from across the UAE sharing their gardens, insights, tips and tricks
  • Giveaways, games and storytelling experiences for children and adults that are open and free for all

The inaugural Down to Earth is a free community event; all visitors are required to pre-register for a two-hour slot and also sign up for limited-capacity specific talks and workshops. The event features a green bazaar that promotes and supports local businesses, including an extensive plant market. Situated throughout the Jameel Arts Centre’s extensive outdoor spaces will be a range of interactive awareness booths that present ideas and new products and reveal the secrets of living sustainably and growing, nurturing and accessorising a broad variety of indoor and outdoor gardens. Food stalls for light bites and refreshments will be available, as well as designated picnic areas across  Jaddaf Waterfront Sculpture Park.

Additionally, green aficionados are invited to enter Grow & Tell, the UAE’s first live forum for star gardeners, by submitting a description and photos of their home garden via an online application form (deadline: November 30). Eight gardeners will be selected and invited to take to the Down to Earth stage on December 12 and present their share-worthy gardens, insights, tips and tricks in a lively showcase of the very best of UAE gardens.

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