The ‘Hillier’s Spring’ garden

Sarah Eberle in garden banner

The 2017 Hillier Chelsea Flower Show garden has been inspired by one simple word – Spring.

The ‘Hillier’s Spring’ garden 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. This is all encapsulated in the Hillier Spring garden, designed by Chelsea’s most decorated garden designer, Sarah Eberle.

The focal point of the design is a 4.3-metre-high metallic spring with hoops that span the length of the entire garden. The hoops wind through the centre of the garden, leading to a water feature and pool, drawing the eye and framing the garden. At the heart of the spiral, where the coils gather, is a square pavilion area. Together with a series of pathways and granite viewing platforms around the edge of the garden, a perfect vista from all angles is ensured.

In the design, Sarah has created a number of themes. She explained: “Hillier is famed for its trees so of course trees form a large part of the design. I have included many shaped trees, as well as trees that are suitable for pots for use in difficult spaces. There are also shaped shrubs, showing alternatives to traditional Box topiary which is so sadly suffering from Box blight.”

“To this end, we have included a modern parterre. It uses ground cover foliage plants, clipped yew
columns of varying heights and has elements of flowers rising above the foliage in areas. We also highlight a number of small shrubs, which are so important for today’s gardeners as smaller-scale gardens are increasingly in the majority.”

The planting will also include two herbaceous borders with climbers on obelisks and pruned
shrubs which follow the shaped plants theme. The garden will also be home to two new plants that will be
launched at the show and are exclusive to Hillier. These will sit alongside Hillier Classics for those who have a keener specialist eye.

Sarah’s design will hopefully see her winning her 14th Chelsea gold medal as well as helping Hillier win its 72nd consecutive gold, furthering the company’s title as the most successful exhibitor in the show’s history. Sarah said: “Working with Hillier again is something which I am very proud of. I started my show garden career with Hillier in the early 1990’s and they were instrumental in teaching me the craft of building a successful show garden. What goes around comes around!”

George Hillier said: “We are delighted with Sarah’s design and all that it represents. The planning is now well underway and we cannot wait to see it all come to fruition in May!”