Over the last decade Jo Thompson has established her reputation as one of the UK’s leading landscape and garden designers. During which time she has triumphed at Chelsea: winning four Gold and five Silver Gilt medals, as well as in ‘Best in Show’ at the prestigious RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
May 2019 sees her once again at the horticultural helm at Chelsea – this time designing the Wedgwood Garden.
As well as the Wedgwood Garden in the main show ground, Jo’s work can also be seen across the road at Chelsea Barracks. This is in the form of two permanent garden squares – Mulberry Square and Bourne Walk. Theses have been designed in collaboration with Neil Porter from Gustafson Porter & Bowman. These squares are the first of seven new public gardens to be completed at Chelsea Barracks, and mark the opening of a part of London that has not been open to the public for over 150 years.
The first, Mulberry Square, has been brought to life in the form of a beautifully designed kinetic tapestry, drawing on Bridget Riley’s colourful bright striped painting. Extending over 100m long and 30m wide, Mulberry Square will act as the main thoroughfare through the estate. Taking inspiration from the grand country estates of England and the historic Mulberry Garden plantation at Buckingham Palace, Mulberry Square pays homage to a traditional kitchen garden, planted with herbs and flowers that can be picked for cooking.
“We have incorporated evergreen hedging to break up the expansive length of Mulberry Square. Herbs, planting, vegetables and flowers have been entwined to create an artistic patchwork”, explains Jo Thompson.
“Bourne Walk is situated along the border of Chelsea Bridge Road. It seeks to create a British native woodland, which has been planted with established trees and native flora to create an ecological corridor that will encourage wildlife to the area. It is really thrilling to be involved in creating these new garden squares, as whilst I love creating show gardens, it is wonderful that these garden spaces will be enjoyed by a far wider audience throughout the year.”