Chelsea Flower Show 2017

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There’s plenty to celebrate at Chelsea Flower Show 2017 as Hampshire horticulturalists showcase their talents.

Show Gardens

Hortus Loci are again growing for some of top Show Garden designers including:

The Royal Bank of Canada Garden by debut designer Charlotte Harris and her all-female design team.

The garden is inspired by the geographically vast and ecologically vital Boreal forests and freshwater lakes of Canada. Stretching from Alberta to Newfoundland, the habitat provides many of the images of exposed bedrock, endless forests, rushing rivers and broad wetlands that characterise the image that much of the world has of Canada.

Taking the geology and planting of the Boreal as key influences, it seeks to celebrate the tenth year of the RBC BlueWater project. The designer chose a Canadian habitat as the  inspiration for the garden, as 2017 also celebrates the 150 anniversary of the Confederation of Canada.

The garden seeks not to recreate the habitat but rather to create a space inspired by it. Key features are planting and materials either found in the region, or reminiscent of it.

The Canadian Boreal, one of the last of the old growth forests, is perhaps the largest forest on earth. Its vast waterways make up 25% of the world’s freshwater wetlands, storing twice as much carbon per acre as tropical rainforests. It is this landscape that has inspired the garden.

Planting/Colour Scheme
The theme of the planting is led by the look and feel of the Canadian Boreal. Trees, shrubs and plant choices are influenced by the habitat. Some are native; others are more readily available European alternatives, or plants with a similar feel.

Pines, larches and birch are the trees, with a natural-feel shrub understorey. Part shady woodland perennials to the rear of the garden give way to sunny planting reminiscent of that found along the rocky lake and river edges of the Boreal. Very hardy choices in recreations of foreign ecosystem.

Breaking Ground by Andrew Wilson & Gavin McWilliam

Design duo Andrew Wilson and Gavin McWilliams with ‘Breaking Ground’ celebrate the work of Wellington College, and will re-create the endangered heathland in Berkshire where the college is situated. This natural habitat has declined by 97% since 1800.

The garden is inspired by the ambitions of Wellington College staff to become the ultimate free school, and explores the concepts of progress and evolution, with thought patterns and the breaking down of barriers in public school education represented as disappearing walls.

Heathland planting communities relate to the College’s location and its establishment on unpromising open heath. Tall, sculptural but transparent walls (barriers) in an open steel framework run through the garden connecting the various elements and materials. Water echoes this flow in the main pool or in rills running below the wall structures.

Connectivity in the garden between forms and patterns is key, inspired partly by neuron and
synapse connections and fundamental to education and learning. Neurons transmit information via electrical or chemical signals, explosive moments as they cross the synapses.

Heathland is featured as a key habitat which is currently more endangered than rain forest.
Some of this habitat runs through the estate at Wellington College and is typical of this area
of Berkshire.

Planting/Colour Scheme
Use of plants with explosive or open umbel forms such as Laser trilobum and the main colour themes through the garden will lie in the blue spectrum. Young pines and birch will show heathland regeneration and it is hopes to include one or two rare perennial species within the planting framework. Use of natives and heathers support biodiversity and aims of Greening Grey Britain.

Artisan Gardens

Hortus Loci are also growing for ‘The Seedlip Garden’ by Dr Catherine MacDonald, who returns for her second solo year.

This is a conceptual garden, inspired by the story of Seedlip, the world’s first non-alcoholic spirits company. It is a celebration of alchemy: the medieval forerunner to chemistry and perceived as the magical process of producing a universal elixir. Here 17th Century apothecary meets modern laboratory.

A lightweight metal and oak structure, with copper detailing, represents a building housing laboratory style benches from these respective eras.

Copper pipe-work and channels carry water through the garden: a nod to the importance of both copper and water in the process of distillation.

A central abstract copper sculpture depicts the journey of Seedlip’s founder from the book, ‘The Art of Distillation’ published in 1651 that documented nonalcoholic herbal remedies, through the ages of distillation and his family’s 300 year farming legacy to the invention of the world’s first distilled non-alcoholic spirit.

Planting/Colour Scheme
The garden’s planting palette is influenced by plants listed in the influential 17th century book, ingredients used and grown by Seedlip, species relevant to modern or herbal medicine and species that suit the Seedlip colour scheme of grey, green and copper e.g. Artemisia abrotanum, Baptisia ‘Cherries Jubilee’, Calendula officinalis, Digitalis laevigata, Euphorbia griffithii ‘Dixter’ and Papaver triniifolium.

Sarah Eberle in garden banner

Winner of 13 RHS Gold medals, Sarah Eberle is following the Mediterranean theme with the ‘Viking Cruises Garden of Inspiration’ which will feature date palms, citrus and succulents, and is based on the distinctive work of architect Antoni Gaudí, best known for the unfinished Sagrada Familia that dominates the Barcelona skyline.

RHS Greening Grey Britain

Professor Nigel Dunnett, who created the wildflower meadow for the London Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in 2012, is the designer of the 2017 RHS Greening Grey Britain Garden. Set within an urban context of high-rise and apartment developments, Nigel will demonstrate and celebrate the multiple benefits of plants and gardens in even the smallest of areas, and provide a vision for the future development and use of private, communal and social spaces in the places where we live. Hortus Loci will be supplying the plants.

Read how the RHS Greening Grey Britain Garden 2017 is set to provide a vision for the future

Floral Marquee

The ‘Hillier’s Spring’ garden, designed by Sarah Eberle, will bring together the word in all its meanings. From seasonality and the anticipation of the first growth, foliage and flower; to a sense of movement and dynamism, all fuelled with a spirit of excitement and simple pleasures.

Hillier Nurseries
Based: Romsey
Site Number: GPE162
Trees, shrubs, climbers & herbaceous plants

Hampshire Carnivorous Plants
Based: Southampton
Site Number: GPB139
Carnivorous plants from around the world

Based: Lymington
Site Number: GPF216
Heucheras, heucherellas, tiarellas

Palms-Exotics Ltd
Based: Romsey
Site Number: GPA108
Palm trees, agaves, Dasylirion & Yucca plants

The Delphinium Society
Based: Romsey
Site Number: GPD155
A display of delphiniums in a garden setting

More exhibitors are yet to be announced and the above information is subject to change.