RHS Chelsea 2012: The Blue Water Garden

The RBC Blue Water Garden designed by Nigel Dunnett

We’ve been quietly beavering away in the background for over a month, having meetings about the Chelsea Flower Show garden we are building in 2012. We are pleased to be collaborating with Nigel Dunnett and The Landscape Agency again this year and it’s another stunning and sustainable design.

The concept behind The Blue Water Garden shows how rain-garden and water conservation concepts can be used in formal settings. Most ‘sustainable’ gardens, take a naturalistic and organic form, but this garden is geometric in structure and shows how even the most formal of gardens can be environmentally-beneficial.

Like the ‘New Wild Garden’ we built in 2011, the new garden will include a full range of water conservation features, together with wildlife-friendly elements. Water is becoming increasingly more precious and there is a real need to create gardens that conserve, preserve and treasure water.

The garden’s design contains a “bio-swale”. Bio-swales are linear vegetated features that collect rainwater runoff and either transport it or enable it to infiltrate back into the ground. They can be richly planted and have high ecological value.

The planting will be dramatic, colourful and naturalistic in Nigel Dunnett ’s typical style, and is loosely modelled on beautiful examples of dry meadows from around the world (i.e little or no irrigation is required).  The formal style will be punctuated with multistem Zelkova serrata trees, Cupressus and Carpinus columns.

For the hard landscaping, the main paths will be made using Portland stone, and decorative gravel will compliment the path edges.  The walls used to create garden rooms will have a textured render finish.

An iconic “Trulli” style building will feature a traditional stone roof.

We’ll have more posts in the coming weeks, focusing on the different elements in the garden in more detail, but we can’t wait to get stuck in! It’s only 11 weeks to go until Build-up starts!