Award-winning landscape designer James Basson brought a touch of the Mediterranean island of Malta to the 2017 RHS Chelsea Flower Show, along with some plants never before seen in the UK.
M&G Investments, title sponsor of the Show, commissioned James to create the M&G Garden, and his design drew on the ecological diversity and sustainability of the region, which acts as a microcosm for the planet as a whole.
Malta is tackling a number of ecological challenges such as water scarcity, the need to recycle and composting, and the garden aimed to bring this story to life.
James structured the garden within a quarry. Two imposing monolithic pillars of Maltese limestone formed the centrepiece of the garden, with the remaining space separated into a series of unique microclimates.
Each space reflected how nature has adapted to reclaim a man-made landscape, using a naturalistic planting style offering both texture and structure. With grasses, heathers and evergreens, the design bore all the hallmarks of a traditional Mediterranean garden, but with an innovative edge.
This was the first time some of these plants were seen in the UK – the Maltese Government gave James special permission to use them.
Jacqui Haskins, M&G Marketing Director, said: "2017 was our eighth year as title sponsor of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and we were as thrilled as ever to be supporting this prestigious event. Sponsoring RHS Chelsea for this many years has enabled M&G to make a real difference in horticulture, particularly in helping to inspire more young people to get in to gardening."
"We were confident that James’ creative design would once again create a show-stopping garden for all to enjoy."
The predominant hue was yellow – the colour that is seen a lot during springtime in Malta. Plants included Euphorbia melitense, Darniella melitense, Limonium melitense, Mattiola incana subsp. Melitense.
Basson returned to RHS Chelsea following his gold award-winning Provence garden at RHS Chelsea in 2016 (pictured right). He worked with Crocus with the support of the Gaia foundation in Malta, Filippi (France), CIancavare (Italy), Gaudissart (France) and Kelways (UK).
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