For the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018, Kate Gould designed and built her ninth Chelsea garden. The 10 x 10m garden was part of the ‘Space To Grow’ category which was full of take home ideas for visitors to the show.
The KGG team were commissioned by the New West End Company who partnered with the Sir Simon Milton Foundation to design and build a garden for the 2018 Show. Kate and the team were even more thrilled to be a part of this project as the New West End Company planned to move the garden to a more permanent home as part of a greening London initiative, where the company planned to expand urban greening within the West End. The gardens final home would be Old Quebec street just off Oxford Street.
‘New West End Garden’ was a modern interpretation of the gardens and architecture of a London square, combining environmentally positive technology. A garden intended for communal use all year round to provide a green oasis in the heart of the West End with positive clean air as well as an energy harvesting technology for residents, workers and visitors to use. The garden had a central sunken calm space with green walls of ferns to buffer sound from the surrounding busy shopping district as well as absorbing pollution. Lightweight trees around the perimeter provided shelter and privacy from the surrounding buildings for those enjoying the space. Colourful low-level planting around the edges of the garden creates interest as well as an invitation into the garden. Technology is factored into the design to work seamlessly in the space. Energy harvesting paving harnesses the power of the publics footsteps and uses this kinetic energy to power lighting, fans and the water feature.
Kate’s knowledge and love of plants has shone through with a wide variety of evergreens as well as flowering plants and trees being used. All varieties (eg. Acer Ginnala, Cornuskousa, Crataegus ‘Paul’s Scarlet’ and Heptacodiummiconioides) have been chosen for their pollution and CO2 absorption properties to create cleaner air for visitors to the garden. With London often cited as having one of the poorest records of air quality in Europe (studies show over 9,000 people die early each year in London due to poor air quality) the new garden will also help the West End in meeting this challenge.
Category: Space to Grow
All images copyright of Helen Fickling