Chelsea Gold medal-winning designer Ann-Marie Powell is to create two new gardens at RHS Garden Wisley.
She joins Matt Keightley and Christopher Bradley-Hole to complete the roster of world-class garden design talent transforming our flagship site.
Ann-Marie's design will be for two gardens around the planned new National Centre for Horticultural Science and Learning on the Hilltop at Wisley. The Wildlife Garden and Kitchen Garden will form a ‘living laboratory’ when they open in spring 2020 and play an important part in the enhanced learning experience by illustrating how plants impact our daily lives.
Ann-Marie Powell is familiar to many not only as a Gold-medal winning designer of gardens at RHS Flower Shows, but also as an author, columnist and TV presenter. In 2016, she designed our Greening Grey Britain Garden at the Chelsea Flower Show, but this is the first time she will be working to create permanent spaces at an RHS Garden.
RHS Director General, Sue Biggs, says: 'We are absolutely thrilled to have Ann-Marie on board to help shape the future of Wisley, and excited to see her innovative ideas come to life. Since its very first days under the care of the RHS, Wisley has been at the forefront of education in horticulture, and Ann-Marie’s designs will provide an easily accessible source of inspiration and learning for all who visit.'
'I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to put together something completely different and help to share inspiration with everyone who visits, no matter their level of skill'
Ann-Marie adds: 'It’s a real honour to be asked to design these important spaces at RHS Garden Wisley. It was the first garden that flicked my switch and it’s always been a hub for experimentation, so I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to put together something completely different and help to share inspiration with everyone who visits, no matter their level of skill. As I work with all the teams at Wisley, I’m learning and gaining insight into their vast knowledge and expertise and that is exactly what I hope these gardens will do for generations of visitors to come.'
Sowing the seeds of tomorrow's big ideas
Part of the RHS’s £160 million investment programme in horticulture, for which £20 million of funding still needs to be raised, the new gardens will help to bring visitors closer than ever to world-leading gardening science, by demonstrating beautiful horticulture, best practice and cutting edge research into the future challenges facing the UK’s 27 million gardeners. Working closely with the knowledgeable teams at Wisley, Ann-Marie’s garden designs will be filled with take-home inspiration for encouraging a healthy wildlife ecosystem and nurturing a bountiful vegetable patch.
Leading landscape designer Matt Keightley will design the third garden at the site, a Health and Wellbeing Garden, which is also the inspiration for his RHS Feel Good Garden at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show. Ann-Marie and Matt's designs form part of Christopher Bradley-Hole’s horticultural masterplan for RHS Garden Wisley and further details will be released later in the year.