Landscape architects produced stunning show gardens

LI members shine at RHS Chelsea Flower Show
LI members shine at RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Landscape Institute members created some of the most stunning gardens at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

The colourful yet serene Breast Cancer Haven Garden secured a gold medal in the Best Artisan Garden category for Sarah Eberle and Tom Hare. Sponsored by Nelsons, and inspired by The Haven, a national charity providing one-to-one support to anyone affected by breast cancer, the garden was centred around a woven willow  ‘nest’ – symbolising the embracing and supportive nature of the charity.

Sarah secured a further gold medal for her playful Beyond Our Borders garden, sponsored by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).

APHA’s aim is to protect the UK against the introduction and spread of new plant pests and diseases. This garden was designed ‘to demonstrate how iconic tree species, represented by British oaks, grown in botanic gardens around the world, are being monitored to help identify new plant pests and diseases indigenous to that zone, which could threaten native plants from other countries (for example, the UK)’.

It was divided into three zones by water features signifying the oceans, with coloured slinky toys, signifying ‘the ability of plant pests and diseases to move from zone to zone.’

Andrew Wilson and Gavin McWilliam won a silver gilt medal for their Living Legacy Garden. Sponsored by Darwin Property Investment Management, it was designed ‘to progress from the bleakness and brutality of the Battle of Waterloo 200 years ago, through the greening and flowering of the landscape, to an abstraction of the iconic architecture of Wellington College, the memorial to the Duke of Wellington.’

Elements of the garden were inspired by the landscape and terrain of Waterloo, the battle formations that successfully repelled attack, the regimental colours of British and Allied troops, and ‘the eight aptitudes central to the teaching of the college ‘itself, marked with the personal carvings of current pupils and alumni.’

Another silver gilt medal was clinched by designer Jo Thompson for her M&G-sponsored garden featuring a two-storey oak-framed building inspired by Vita Sackville-West’s writing room at Sissinghurst. The design drew on Jo’s local influences, ‘from the vernacular architectural features synonymous with the Sussex and Kent countryside where she currently lives to the use of Purbeck stone from her childhood in Dorset.’

Meanwhile, the final week of the Chelsea Fringe include ‘horticultural hijinks across the capital’, with a witty commemoration of the anniversary of Waterloo at the Wellington Tower; an interactive ‘Plantastic’ exhibition at the Horniman Museum; and a garden offering therapy for mental health at the site of Bedlam, the Bethlam Royal Hospital.

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