With millions finding solace in gardening this year, the positive impact of plants on our health and wellbeing is a prominent theme at all shows and the focus of a new RHS Chelsea category; ‘Sanctuary Gardens’.
The majority of gardens and designers set for RHS Chelsea 2020 will be returning and many will champion the restorative power of plants. This includes Sarah Eberle for the Bible Society, Amanda Waring for SSAFA the Armed Forces charity supported by CCLA and Robert Myers for The Burdett Trust for Nursing whose garden shines a light on the critical role nurses play in modern-day healthcare whilst celebrating the remarkable legacy of Florence Nightingale and the importance of gardens for wellbeing and recovery.
In addition, new for 2021, Naomi Ferrett-Cohen has designed ‘Finding Our Way – An NHS Tribute Garden’, as a space to reflect on the incredible efforts of the thousands of people working in and around the NHS who, together with universities, are striving collectively to fight the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
A number of other new designers for 2021 have taken inspiration from beautiful landscapes around the world, creating gardens as spaces to re-engage with nature for mental and spiritual wellbeing whilst shining a light on the beauty and diversity of nature and the need to protect it for future generations.
Former RHS Young Designer of the Year finalist, Lilly Gomm will create a Sanctuary Garden inspired by the unique flora that typifies various regions in Switzerland. Meanwhile, Carly Kershaw and Ekaterina Zasukhina will be making their Chelsea debut with a Show Garden inspired by the beauty of Russia’s Ural Mountain region, a space to calm the mind whilst reinforcing the need to protect the region’s forests and rivers, which are coming under threat from industrial processes.
Returning designers also taking inspiration from foreign landscapes include Jonathan Snow (Himalayas) and Taina Suonio (Finland).
At the heart of the show, the Great Pavilion will be full of uplifting displays created by nurseries who live by the ethos ‘growing is good for you’. The benefits of indoor plants will be highlighted in the new Houseplant Studios, showing how anyone can enjoy growing plants indoors all year round, regardless of space.
RHS Hampton, Tatton, and Malvern will continue the theme of health and wellbeing next year. At RHS Hampton Court, supported by Viking, the feel good therapy of gardening and growing together will be celebrated in the new Community Area, with allotment style gardens created by local community gardening groups, keen gardeners and budding garden designers full of inspiration to encourage more people to get together and create beautiful, shared green spaces in their local communities. At RHS Tatton Park, the ‘RHS Flower Power Garden’ Designed by Anca Panait will explore the positive power of flowers, plants, and the many ways they can help heal and elevate our senses.
Helena Pettit, RHS Director of Gardens and Shows said: “Helping and inspiring millions of people to garden and grow for their health and wellbeing is at the heart of what we do, and as so many people have turned to gardening and experienced the positive power of plants during this unsettling year it feels more significant than ever to see this theme highlighted across our shows next year.
We are excited to be planning our 2021 Shows and cannot wait to bring everyone together again safely next summer and celebrate all that is wonderful about gardening and growing. Our shows promise to be blooming with a whole host of inspiration and advice for everyone, from those who have just recently discovered a passion for plants to seasoned gardeners whose love for gardens has been reaffirmed and who are keen to once again experience the unforgettable sights and smells on display at our RHS shows.”
The RHS will also be introducing a number of necessary health, hygiene and safety measures to ensure RHS Shows can operate safely and are COVID secure.
Tickets to RHS Shows are available to purchase now, visit rhs.org.uk/shows or call 0344 338 7501 to book now. RHS Members can benefit from early Bird ticket offer to RHS Malvern Spring Festival, RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival, including the Preview Evening, and RHS Flower Show Tatton Park. Available from 26 Oct – 20 Dec 2020.