Chelsea Flower Show - Gold Medal Winner – Latest
Elliott Wood has a tradition of working on some of the best gardens at the Chelsea Flower Show, and this year was no different. Working with designer Sarah Price and construction specialists Crocus, we helped engineer the fantastic M&G Garden which went on to be a Gold medal winner.
One of our main contributions was to design of a number of rammed earth walls and stack tile walls, supported by corten steel. We have previously worked with rammed earth on the Bushy Heath Cemetery project, however for the RHS Chelsea Flower show the rammed earth was not reinforced with rebar or cement making it a more sustainable product. Due to the designer’s requirement for a wide opening we designed a bespoke lintel from corten steel to support the opening, complementing the use of corten elsewhere in the garden.
The second requirement was for several stacked tile walls. The design from Elliott Wood, in consultation with the designer, was to design a corten frame to support the tile walls. Both designs included the design of foundations, the design philosophy was to minimise the requirement of concrete due to the temporary nature of the project
About the project
The M&G Garden is a romanticised haven designed for a warm, sunny climate. It expands on a timeless idea that a wall, a tree and a seat can create an intimate and beautiful place of repose. Using Mediterranean flora and raw materials dug directly out of the earth (clay, aggregate and pigment), the space celebrates the expressive language of colour, texture, light and shadow.
This is a garden of contrasts: colour is subtle, but unexpected and dazzling; semi-opaque glazed tiles pick out the silvery tones of subshrubs; and a clashing cacophony of scarlet, pink, lilac and yellow flowers are held together by grassy swathes. At the heart of the space, pomegranate trees command attention, and the glassy surface of a large pool reflects the garden’s composition. Planting includes tapestries of ground-hugging, scented herbs punctuated with subshrubs and taller, wispy, diaphanous flowers. Many drought-tolerant plants are included, which are perfectly suited to our warming climate.
The stand-out plants in the garden are a pair of beautifully gnarled old pomegranate trees. Their spreading forms contrast with the more upright shape of crepe myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica) grown for their attractive bark and showy late summer flowers. Also in the garden is a young cork oak, another common tree of the Mediterranean.
The beautiful terracotta toned walls are made of rammed earth and blend perfectly with the rest of the garden. Some incorporate trickling streams of water that run into a trio of angular pools, providing a cooling feel through the otherwise arid landscape
The carefully chosen plants form an attractive mix. Annual poppies in pink and scarlet mingle with the gold domes of woad and lime green euphorbias, while blue Catanache caerulea sways beside the delicate blooms of Cistus and single flowered roses. Blue leaved succulent Senecio serpens and shrubby Canary Island native Digitalis isabelliana with its spires of orange flowers lend further unusual notes.