It can be an abrupt end to the Chelsea Flower Show, when after months of work, sweat and sometimes tears, the gardens are dismantled within days. The area is grassed over so efficiently that it’s hard to believe that anything was there before, so it’s great to see a garden that I came to know quite well, being given a new life and the materials being re-used.
I had a chance to see how imaginatevly this can be done when I was invited to the private view of The Cloudy Bay Discovery Garden last week. The garden was originally designed by Wilson McWilliam Studio and last seen at the Chelsea Flower Show in May. It’s now been creativly recycled into another garden in the courtyard of the OXO Tower Wharf near the Thames in London.
The garden was selected by Citiscapes, an urban garden festival, to be remixed into four unique garden installations over the course of the summer by four young garden designers.
The first installation is by Jon Sims, who worked on the construction of the original garden at Chelsea in May.
Jon has developed the idea around the theme of storage. The concept is that the garden is delivered to it’s present site, the crate breaks open and it’s contents spill out revealing a remixed arrangement.
Jon has done a wonderful job and it was nice to see all the ingredients again that became so familiar during the build-up to the Chelsea Show, like the rammed earth walls,
the roof from another angle,
and also to see that the rugged old apple trees have produced fruit.
Andrew Wilson commented:
“I wasn’t sure how I’d feel seeing the garden again, but I was thrilled and I’m delighted that it will be seen by a different audience over the summer.”
St Mungo’s Putting Down Roots was responsible for building this new version of the garden, and will also build the next three at the same venue:
- Garden 2: 21 August – 8th September Anoushka Feiler
- Garden 3: 11 – 29 September Matthew Childs
- Garden 4: 2 – 20 October Daniel Lobb
Finally, the garden will be installed at the RHS London Shades of Autumn Show 22-23 October in a fifth version, designed by the original designers Andrew Wilson and Gavin McWilliam. Following this, it’s lifecycle will be completed with materials being used in community garden spaces.
It takes the best part of a year from conception to completion for a Chelsea Garden to happen, after all that work it’s nice to see one rematerialise and for the materials and plants re-used.
You can see my posts about the garden leading up to it’s installation at The Chelsea Flower Show here.
all images: Jill Anderson