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Toxic Garden

For humans it was a stunning show garden and a place of quiet serenity. For cats and dogs, however, it was a certified death trap.

That’s because it was officially the world’s most poisonous garden to pets, which we created for MORE TH>N to highlight the toxic dangers that common household plants and flowers pose to the nation’s furry friends.

The Poisonous Pawtanical Garden, as we called it, was built at London’s Horniman Museum & Gardens as part of the Chelsea Fringe garden festival. We worked with RHS Chelsea award-winning garden designer Ian Drummond, vet Robert White-Adams and TV’s Charlie Dimmock to make the garden a reality.

The garden housed over 40 varieties of common plants and flowers which if ingested by cats and dogs were at best likely to result in an upset tummy and at worst lead to them turning up daises!

While no pets were allowed, over two glorious summer weeks the garden was a source of enjoyment and education for over 10,000 people. What’s more, we bagged some brilliant coverage in over 100 titles, including Daily Mail, Daily Express, ITV, London Live, The People, Country Life and Daily Mirror. Couple that with some wonderful social engagement (including 130,000 views of our video on Facebook and a wildly popular Facebook Q&A with Charlie Dimmock) and we had another belter of a pet project under our belts.

More than a brilliant consumer PR tactic, however, the garden has been the launch platform for a longer-term consumer affairs campaign in which MORE TH>N is lobbying for ‘pet safe’ labelling to become the norm on all potted plants, flowers and plant seed packets.

To date, we’ve secured the support of 32 MPs, seen the issue tabled in the House of Commons and witnessed MP Jim Dowd author his own thoughts on the topic.

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