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o u t s i d e intere s t s | R H S C h e l s e a F l o w e r S h o w

in london

For nearly two centuries, the Royal Horticultural Society has put on an annual flower show that celebrates the fullness of spring and heralds the start of summer in London. The event, which has been held on the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea since 1905, now welcomes over 150,000 visitors each year. So popular is the Chelsea Flower Show that it’s grown to a 5-day affair, making it the largest garden exhibition of its type. Even the queen’s a regular, only missing it once, when her coronation conflicted. If you can still find a ticket, guard it like the crown jewels. The show’s on from the 24th through the 28th of May. a bit of nostalgia The 1919 program cover is one of many images available through RHS Prints. The collection includes historical materials from the society’s Lindley Library, as well as contemporary photographs. Sales support scientific research and educational programs for children and adults.


RHS Chelsea Flower Show


monaco garden In 2006, Prince Albert established the Fondation Prince Albert II de Monaco, to support environmental initiatives around the globe. This year, he makes his inaugural debut at Chelsea with a garden reflective of the foundation’s interest in sustainable building. Designed by Hampshire veteran Sarah Eberle— she’s won a commendable 8 RHS gold medals—the garden represents a section of a high-rise building and illustrates a handsome, and attractive, solution to congested urban living. The building harmonizes with its environment through glazing, “living” roofs and walls, and water-collection pools. The main area, which opens onto the courtyard, creates the indooroutdoor space so desirable in a temperate climate. Working with Gloucestershire-based Peter Dowle (who picked up two awards at last year’s show), Eberle has built a garden that highlights the principality’s geography and topography, as well as its harbor setting, while perfectly capturing the elegance of the region. 218 | ENTRA MAGAZINE


RHS Chelsea Flower Show

the british

heart foundation garden


With this year’s garden, the BHF celebrates its 50th anniversary and the launch of the Mending Broken Hearts Appeal, a fundraising campaign for research into regenerating damaged heart muscle. Designed by West Sussex’s Ann-Marie Powell (whose rainforest garden took a gold medal in 2010) and planted with Garden Builders, it is inspired by the movement of blood through the body. The designer playfully uses Tilia cordata for its heart-shaped foliage, Salix caprea, the “aspirin” plant, and “red blood cell” stepping stones to cross the pool. The emphasis is on herbs and edibles, rather than blossoms, and visitors might think twice about the weeds. Powell sees poetry in nettles—here, they are visual reminders that no one is immune to life’s difficulties, and that if challenges are used for good, they can create a profound component in any story. The garden is sponsored by investment managers Brewin Dolphin.


RHS Chelsea Flower Show


times eureka garden

Eureka, the Times’ monthly science magazine, and the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew are co-sponsors of this year’s entry by Marcus Barnett. The Chelsea gold-medalist, who makes London home, delivers a happy union of modernist architecture and traditional English garden design, a synergy for which he’s become known. The flowers (including foxglove, roses, geraniums, and salvia) were chosen to reflect our daily dependence on plants—the examples shown are found in everything from medicine to cosmetics to cola. Assisted by the Outdoor Room of West Sussex, Barnett took a few ideas directly from Mother Nature and designed a walkway based on leaf capillaries and a pavilion (made of sustainably sourced wood and bioplastic) based on cellular structure. After the show, the installation will move to Kew Gardens. 222 | ENTRA MAGAZINE


Chelsea Flower Show 2011  
Chelsea Flower Show 2011  

Writer, Entra Magazine, May/June 2011