RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2021, The M&G Garden

Location: RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Client: M&G

Style: Show Garden

Project: Current Projects, Selected Projects, Show Gardens

"This is a truly inspirational garden".

Joe Swift, presenter, BBC Chelsea Flower Show

"The M&G Garden is exquisite".

Monty Don, presenter, BBC Chelsea Flower Show

Charlotte and Hugo have together designed The M&G Garden for RHS Chelsea 2021’s special September event, brought to life by Crocus.

The garden was designed before the pandemic to stand for the importance of beautiful and restorative green spaces in the places we need them the most – our towns and cities. We believe that there is no corner too small, too unloved, or too battered that cannot be transformed into somewhere restorative and powerful for people and wildlife, while also providing many climate and environmental benefits.

The garden is imagined as a pocket park – a peaceful oasis for people and wildlife to share. Unusually for Chelsea, it is a shared public garden, challenging our usual notions of what a garden can be.

Our studio is known for making gardens that tell stories that reflect the spirit of place, and we have imagined an industrial past for the garden – a place that has been transformed to green but still shows echoes of the past. In doing so, the garden demonstrates how found materials and unloved remnants can be transformed into something extraordinary and authentic.

Wherever possible, the materials used to create the garden are reclaimed and re-used, including a sculpture of over 100 linear metres of repurposed metal pipes created in collaboration with the architecture and design studio Mcmullan Studio. The pipework sculpture reimagines an everyday object – steel pipes – into a beautiful part of the garden. The colours and texture contrast with the naturalistic elements in the garden of plants, trees and water. Molten metal pour details inject the unexpected and animate the sculpture.

Water in the form of a naturalistic pool, surrounded by marginal planting, aids run-off and flood prevention and helps encourage and support wildlife

The garden features plants and trees chosen for their tolerance to urban climate extremes interspersed with unusual and delicate planting to inject moments of ephemeral beauty. Structural planting includes the towering forms of three Nyssa Sylvatica, and the mid canopy silvery leaves of Hippophae rhamnoides and Elaeagnus umbellata.

With the move of the show to September, we are embracing the bold colours and textures of Autumn to celebrate the change in the seasons.

Over 50 people, from contractors to horticulturalists, have been involved in making the pocket park garden designed by Charlotte and Hugo come to life. Hear from some of them in this short film made by Crocus.