Fresh and Artisan Gardens 2016

Find out about the imaginative and engaging Fresh and Artisan Gardens that were on display at the 2016 show

Artisan Gardens

Papworth Trust - Together We Can GardenPeter Eustance of Symphonic Gardens developed an acoustic Artisan Garden for disability charity Papworth Trust, inspired by world-famous percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie. The Papworth Trust - Together We Can Garden created an acoustic pulse inspired by Evelyn’s love of the ‘sea music’ produced by the women of the islands of Vanuatu who create amazing rhythmic songs with just their hands, water and voices.

On the river

Returning to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, Sarah Eberle drew on international inspiration for her Viking Cruises Garden, based on the floating gardens of the silk-weaving region of the Mekong River in Cambodia. Largely made up of water, with a small deck leading to a ‘floating’ lounger styled on a traditional fishing boat, this oasis also featured a cantilevered parasol inspired by traditional fishing nets, and silk weaving provides shade.

This was a successful return for Sarah, who has made history by winning Gold in more categories than any other designer in the history of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. As well as bagging a Gold for the Viking Cruises Garden, she also secured a 71st consecutive gold for Hillier with its exhibit in the Great Pavilion.

Fresh Gardens

The Modern Slavery GardenTackling the controversial subject of modern-day slavery, Juliet Sargent’s Chelsea debut aimsed to raise awareness of the 13,000 slaves living in the UK, as well as more than 27 million worldwide. This struggle was represented by two contrasting atmospheres: empty, lifeless and black inside; colourful and open on the outside. The open doors and path represented the way to freedom for modern slaves.

Inside out

Also exhibiting in the Fresh category for The Marble and Granite Centre were Martin Cook and Gary Breeze, who created a garden set inside a giant granite cube. The Antithesis of Sarcophagi Garden was a representation of a world turned inside out; a garden inside a sculpture; desolation verses life; civilisation versus nature. The 44-tonne cube contained a mysterious rejuvenating woodland, invisible from the stark, ash-charred exterior other than through cracks in its surface.

Healing spaces

Meningitis Now Futures GardenOther highlights in the Fresh and Artisan section included The World Vision Garden designed by John Warland, which symbolised how unpredictable and vulnerable life is. The Dye Garden demonstrated age-old techniques used by artists such as Rembrandt to dye fabrics in the most beautiful colours. After winning Silver-Gilt at last year’s show, John Everiss returned with  A Garden for Meningitis Now.

More information

A-Z of gardens at the 2016 RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.