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Best in Show Chelsea Garden gifted to Bristol Botanic Garden

by | 09 May 24 | Garden Design, News | 0 comments

The Guangzhou China: Guangzhou Garden, which took home a gold medal and the award for Best in Show at the 2021 RHS Chelsea Flower Show, has been rebuilt at the University of Bristol’s Botanic Garden.

The garden, designed by Bath-based practice Grant Associates director Peter Chmiel and associate director Chin-Jung Chen, was gifted to Bristol by the city of Guangzhou – the two cities have been twinned since 2001.

Chmiel and Chin-Jung were joined at the unveiling by the University’s Botanic Garden Curator, Nicholas Wray, who shared insight on how the garden has been adapted to its new South Western home.

Guangzhou China: Guangzhou Garden. Designed by Peter Chmiel with Chin-Jung Chen. Sponsored by Guangzhou Government, China. Show Garden. RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2021. © RHS / Neil Hepworth

Inspired by the city of Guangzhou, the original garden featured numerous planting species and aquatic designs, which aligned with Chelsea’s first autumnal show in its 108-year history.

Paying homage to Guangzhou’s philosophy which gives equal consideration to the needs of people and wildlife through sustainable city planning strategies, reconnecting people and nature.

Landscape architects, Chmiel and Chin-Jung from Grant Associates, comment on the gardens relocation, saying: “It is fantastic that the core concepts and sustainability values of the design have been maintained but reimagined by the use of a planting mix that is purely native to China.”

The pair go on to say they are “delighted to see all the laminated bamboo structures, crafted by Xylotek, have been thoughtfully integrated and carefully treated to maximise their lifespan.”

Garden Curator, Wray adds: “The plant mix from the Chelsea Flower Show Garden was not relocated to Bristol as some of the semi-mature trees were over a ton in weight. Instead, the planting has been reimagined to feature plants entirely Chinese in origin. We hope the garden will be enjoyed and inspire visitors for many years to come.”

Staff at the Botanic Garden have been propagating plants from the garden’s Chinese plant collections to create a planting design that reflects the appearance of the sub-tropical flora of Guangzhou.

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