I loved all the display gardens I saw today but the one that really stood out for me was the RBC New Wild Garden. It is based on William Robinsons ideas and concepts and features recycled materials, a green roof shipping container office, wildlife habitat, and is the first full scale rain garden at Chelsea.
I loved the simple plantings designed by Dr. Nigel Dunnett (most of which seem to have been selected to attract bees and butterflies and other wildlife). They were separated into four distinct zones; a woodland, wet meadow, perennial and dry meadow. But what I really loved were the other structures incorporated into this garden which is unusual for me because I am pretty much all about plants.
There was a shipping container office provided by Green Roof Shelters and designed by John Little and Dan Monck. It includes a green roof and built in bird houses , bat housing and invertebrate habitats. I love the idea of recycled shipping containers and have been looking into them as a possible building material for my future “dream home” so it was great seeing them in this setting incorporating so many ways to attract wildlife. The invertebrate habitat artistically arranged in different sized circular frames on the outside wall of the building was particularly impressive.
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There were several dry stone walls that were an absolute masterpiece. They featured planting beds containing Sempervivums and also included habitat walls made up of recycled materials such as wooden blocks with holes drilled in them, stacked slate, old bamboo stakes and even old books.
There are two Circular pools of water that collect the rain water run off from the green roof and a circular deck with seating under the woodland trees. Water from the pools spills into the planting areas.
The garden won a silver gilt medal at the show. I’m sure that is a worthy honor and they must be very proud but as it was my favorite garden at the show I can’t help but feel they were robbed. One bit of excellent news is that the garden has found a permanent home at the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) Slimbridge Wetland Centre in Gloucestershire. Once Chelsea is over it will be taken down and moved to its permanent home so people and wildlife will get to enjoy it for many years.
I’ll be posting more photos of the beautiful gardens and displays at Chelsea in the next few days.