Gold medal-winning designer Cleve West designed the sponsor’s garden at Chelsea 2014 and bagged another Gold medal.
M&G Investments, the title sponsor of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and a leading international investment management company, commissioned landscape designer Cleve West to create a contemporary paradise garden.
Invented by the Persians more than a thousand years ago, paradise gardens are spaces for sanctuary and contemplation. Cleve is known for designs that combine the classic with the contemporary, and in his plan for The M&G Garden he used ancient elements of water, shade and planting to create a paradise garden fit for 2014.
The M&G Garden’s centrepiece is a tall, octagonal fountain within a sunken base, built from traditional British Bath limestone and flint. The water flows into four rills, through a stone edged sunken terrace and into an octagonal perimeter. The rills are a nod to the four rivers that are said to have flowed through the Garden of Eden, which many might think of as the original paradise garden.
Behind the fountain, flanked by yew hedging, is a vast limestone relief depicting the Tree of Life, painstakingly engraved across five panels by Cleve himself.
Cleve, who has now won eight gold medals at Chelsea, said: “I was inspired by the idea that the ancient gardens of Persia, Greece and Italy still influence the way we create gardens today and I wanted to celebrate that in The M&G Garden.”
2014 marked M&G’s fifth year as the title sponsor of RHS Chelsea. M&G has been managing the money of individuals and institutions for more than 80 years.