Award-winning landscape contractors Bowles & Wyer will return to RHS Chelsea Flower Show this year to build a Main Avenue Show Garden for Warner Edwards Distillery, created by garden designer Helen Elks-Smith.
The Warner Edwards Garden, which will be Bowles & Wyer’s eighth Show Garden, is inspired by the natural springs at Falls Farm in Northamptonshire – the home of Warner Edwards Distillery – and has been designed using a complicated sequence of structures and techniques to create multiple water features, which run quietly through different areas of the garden creating gentle arcs and streams before they emerge again in the garden.
Drystone walls will form a central pavilion with two large cantilevered roofs appearing to float above them, from where the water will flow down a central ‘chimney’ through a string of copper ‘fins’ before disappearing into the ground below.
Taking on the challenging build, Bowles & Wyer will be working with Helen and a team of specialists to create the garden including water expert Andrew Ewing. Other features will include a glass wall created by artist Wendy Newhofer, a large stone water trough lined with copper, and furniture designed by Helen Elks-Smith and made by master craftsman Ben Naylor of Jack Badger, all of which Bowles & Wyer will be coordinating on site to ensure swift and easy transition into the garden.
In line with the Warner Edwards ethos of “giving back to nature”, planting will provide good habitats and food sources for birds, insects, bees and butterflies while the chimney is inspired by ‘Curiosity’, the Warner Edwards gin still.
With so many complex elements to build, Dan Riddleston, Managing Director at Bowles & Wyer, who is leading the project, will undertake much of the construction off-site to ensure enough time is allowed for planting. This includes the drystone walls as well as the pavilion’s steel frame, the foundations, and some of the water features which will then be carefully reassembled at the showground.
One of the major concerns of the build this year has been ensuring that the plants will be available amid uncertainty about plant passports in the wake of Brexit. Trees, hedges and shrubs have already been imported and are being grown-on at Deepdale Trees in Bedfordshire, while Rosy Hardy will be growing the remaining plants.