The Sanctuary and All About Plants gardens will combine blue-sky thinking with practical gardening solutions for our changing times at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2023, sponsored by The Newt in Somerset.
In the Sanctuary garden category. Hamptons Mediterranean Garden by Filippo Dester will transport visitors to a rural family garden with an outdoor kitchen surrounded by edible planting for alfresco dining. While Kazuyuki Ishihara makes a welcome return to RHS Chelsea with a garden inspired by the traditional satoyama landscapes found in the foothills of Japan.
Animals will also have their own sanctuary with the RSPCA’s wildlife friendly garden by first-time Chelsea designer Martyn Wilson, blending a space for both humans and creatures to live safely in harmony with each other. And The National Brain Appeal’s Rare Space has been created by designer Charlie Hawkes alongside people living with rare dementias, to offer a refuge for exploration and calm navigation.
Following its successful debut in the Great Pavilion at RHS Chelsea 2022, the All About Plants category will increase from four to six gardens next year, all supported by grant-giving charity, Project Giving Back. Each garden has been designed in collaboration with a UK charity to reflect their individual causes using a minimum of 80% planting, highlighting the vital role specialist growers play within UK horticulture. Following the show, all of the gardens will live on at the charities’ chosen locations, from Glasgow to Kent.
The arts offer inspiration across three of the gardens – Nicola Semple and Susan Begg are bringing a ‘dolly mixture’ palette of candelabra primula to the Teapot Trust Elsewhere Garden. Based on the Scottish charity’s work using art therapy to help children coping with chronic conditions, the exuberant planting will celebrate the magic of their imagination. While Joe and Laura Carey will integrate 250 porcelain butterflies amongst their textural planted garden to express how Talitha Arts harness the power of creativity for people suffering trauma. And Sadler’s Wells dance company will celebrate their new community performance space in East London with a garden designed by Alexa Ryan-Mills that puts plants front of stage as the stars of the show.
Further All About Plants gardens will highlight the importance of teaching children to learn about growing food in schools; a sensory and accessible garden for learning disabled users and a welcoming and safe space for refugees.
Helena Pettit, RHS director of shows and gardens, says: “The breadth of creativity across the Sanctuary and All About Plants categories is truly inspirational and will take visitors on a journey across diverse landscapes, as well as imaginary worlds. Sustainable and wildlife friendly planting is central to each design, with gardens offering new combinations of species that will bring sensory delights across the show.”