The Brewin Dolphin Garden 2016 is entitled ‘Forever Freefolk’. The garden, designed by nurserywoman Rosy Hardy, already the holder of an impressive 20 RHS Chelsea Gold medals, invites visitors to consider the fragility of chalk streams, a rare and vital natural resource. This is Rosy’s Chelsea show garden debut.
Rosy Hardy confirmed the announcement, saying, “I have been asked many times if I would like to design a Chelsea Garden and my response has always been yes perhaps one day! Upon winning my 20th Chelsea gold medal last May I was wondering what opportunity might arise to challenge me and hey presto….the perfect sponsor in Brewin Dolphin came forward and embraced my design. We want this garden to challenge, engage and encourage visitors to recognise the fragility and unique nature of our English chalk streams.”
There are around 200 chalk streams in the world, under threat from pollution, and climate change; 160 of these are in England – one of the best examples is the River Test which flows through Freefolk Hampshire, neighbouring Hardy’s Cottage nursery.
Rosy said: “The Brewin Dolphin garden will allow everyone to explore and experience the fragility and unique nature of these streams by walking through a dried up chalk stream bed, past lush planting onwards towards the source. The garden references the changing context and form of the landscape, the sense of loss for the stream is balanced in part by the potential for renewal and the chance to turn back and contemplate the garden. It is also an opportunity to remind us of what water offers given that chalk aquifers supply 70 percent of Southern England’s water.”
Stephen Ford, head of Brewin Dolphin’s wealth management, said, “In keeping with our years at Chelsea RHS we are proud to be associated with Rosy, another inspiring and challenging designer. That Rosy Hardy is, for the first time, designing a Show garden, is testament to our mutual commitment to welcome, inspire and engage all our visitors.”
The garden will showcase more than one brand new plant introduction and some breathtakingly beautiful features. Several planting zones are represented including; lush, shady, dry and a grassland area. All trees, plants and hedging are representative of those grown in this part of Southern England. The garden is designed to be a sensual, accessible and thought provoking educational experience.
Related: RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016