This year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show was a world-class celebration of spring, with the horticultural delights and surprises encompassing everything from cacti to concrete. But without question, the highlight for Kate Gould Gardens in 2018 was winning a fifth gold medal, for our New West End Garden in the Space to Grow Category.
The concept behind the garden
Designed as a fresh take on the traditional London square, New West End Garden is the latest creation from the Kate Gould Gardens team. With air pollution in London reaching illegal levels just a month into 2018, we wanted to create a space that would provide some respite, as well as helping to clean up the atmosphere. So the plants within the garden were selected for their ability to thrive in a highly polluted environment and to absorb the harmful gases present in the London air.
Sustainability and consideration for the environment is a theme that is echoed throughout the garden, which features innovative paving tiles that harvest the energy produced when people walk on them. The energy is used to power light boxes that turn on as darkness falls in the city.
Construction of the New West End Garden at the Chelsea Flower Show
The behind the scenes work involved in the production of the Chelsea Flower show for both the organisers and the entrants is both great fun and all consuming. We wanted to share with you some pictures of the build-up which demonstrates what the site looked like before the garden was completed and a progression through some major stages.
A haven for busy Londoners
Following the Chelsea Flower Show, the garden, sponsored by the Sir Simon Milton Foundation, will be relocated to Old Quebec Street, near Oxford Street in London’s West End. In a newly pedestrianised area, the New West End Garden will be a communal space that offers an oasis in the heart of the busy capital city. Featuring walls crafted from Ashlar masonry, and sheltered by trees around the border, the garden will provide a calm, private space where Londoners can escape for a few moments to enjoy the colourful blooms. It will be open to be enjoyed in all its glory at the Portman Summer Street Party on 15 July 2018.
Award winners in the Space to Grow category
The Chelsea Flower Show is always a fantastic showcase for creativity and innovation in the garden, and Kate’s garden stood shoulder to shoulder with other winners in the Space to Grow category, including The Pearlfisher Garden, which featured an array of marine life in aquatic tanks, The Seedlip Garden, which celebrated the beauty of edible plants, and Urban Flow Garden, whose diverse range of plants provide interest all year round, and were selected to cope with both wet and dry conditions. It’s always an honour to be recognised alongside these other talented garden designers.
Accepting the award, Kate Gould said: “We would like to thank the RHS shows team and all the site staff who make the Chelsea Flower Show possible and for supporting us all the way with this garden. Myself and the team are absolutely thrilled to have won a gold medal for a sponsored garden and we would like to thank the Sir Simon Milton Foundation and New West End Company for asking us to be a part of this project.”