Award-winning landscape and garden designer Jo Thompson was commissioned to create a sylvan-themed garden retreat for M&G, the sole sponsors of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
The M&G Garden featured a two-storey, oak-framed building inspired by the writing room of poet Vita Sackville-West at Sissinghurst Castle. There was also a large, natural swimming pond edged with water-loving plants, a woodland of river birches, acacias and acers, and a garden with tumbling roses and peonies in a palette of greens, punctuated by soft pinks, lavender blues and creams, with a touch of orange.
A quintessentially British retreat
Partially covered by trees and lush planting, the 2015 M&G Garden drew on Jo’s local influences: from the vernacular architectural features that are synonymous with the Sussex and Kent countryside where she currently lives, to the use of Purbeck stone at the far end of the swimming pond, which gave a nod to her childhood in Dorset.
The romantic garden represented a quintessentially British restorative retreat, emabling visitors to unwind, away from the hustle and bustle of city living.
Jo said: 'I wanted to create a special garden for M&G that is a retreat, yet follows the principles of traditional British gardening: local materials such as oak and limestone surrounded by typical cottage planting with more than a hint of the woodland.'
Jacqui Haskins, M&G marketing director, said: 'The M&G Garden was Jo’s sixth Show garden at RHS Chelsea and we have always been impressed with Jo’s beautiful creations in the past. It is also fantastic to work with such a well-regarded female designer, along with her all-female gardening team.'
2015 is M&G’s sixth year as the sole sponsor of RHS Chelsea.