Chelsea flower show with planet-friendly garden designs |  Chelsea Flower Exhibition

Chelsea flower show with planet-friendly garden designs | Chelsea Flower Exhibition

While many expect to see rows of bright flowers and pillow-like flowers at the Chelsea Flower Exhibition, this year star gardens will also feature such biodiversity elements as mushrooms and a beaver habitat.

Garden designers at the annual Royal Horticulture Society (RHS) show have been asked to consider the environment when making their contributions.

Although many of the traditional aspects of the show, including the award-winning flowers in the large pavilion, remain, many gardens focus on nature rather than conventional well-groomed beauty.

For the first time, the beavers’ garden power will be shown at the exhibition. The Rewilding Britain Landscape garden, by designers Lulu Urquhart and Adam Hunt, will demonstrate how rodents care for the landscape and let biodiversity thrive.

Beavers became extinct in Britain 400 years ago, and only in recent years have they been reintroduced to parts of the country.

Their garden will show a naturally restored landscape in the south-west of England, where the designers say they will “show the role of beavers as incredible bioengineers in a natural ecosystem.”

It will feature a beaver dam and a pool with a hut behind and show a “beach meadow” of the kind beavers create when they partially flood a riverbank and attract pollinators and other wildlife.

The couple said: “The inspiration for the garden comes from seeing the incredible abundance, diversity and beauty that comes from the presence of beavers, a mammal once lost to the British countryside and now reintroduced.”

Favorite trees of beavers, including hazel and field horn, have been chosen for the garden, as well as native wildflowers and plants that encourage and support trees such as hawthorn and alder trees, which provide winter food for many birds and support dozens of insect species.

Instead of flowers, designer Joe Perkins has decided to show a range of mushrooms rather than highlighting the “inseparable link between plants and fungi in forest ecosystems”.

In between purchasing new roses and water elements for their gardens, participants will learn about the complex mycelium networks that connect and support forest life, in the exhibit that will make use of trees, including sweet chestnut and douglas fir.

The garden will also include species accustomed to warmer climates, to highlight how our planting may have to change as a result of a warming planet.

While most of the exhibit, held in May at the Royal Hospital’s grounds, Chelsea, usually focuses on what grows in the ground, the dirt itself is the star of the new Blue Peter Garden.

The designer, Juliet Sergeant, hopes to “open the eyes of children and adults to the role of the earth in supporting life and its potential to help in our fight against climate change”.

The garden will feature an underground chamber, which will show a land animation, and land-themed art by the children of Salford. It also has a roof-top meadow and barley field with common spotted and southern swamp orchids and a two ton tree on the planted roof that shows the large variety of plants that good healthy soil can maintain.

For the exhibition is also a foraging garden by Howard Miller for the Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. The garden has a movable forage kitchen and is designed to help children engage in nature through foraging, sharing healthy food, playing, relaxing together and being in the now.

In the garden there will be a lot of heather and blueberries. Miller said, “One of my favorite childhood memories is picking blueberries with my grandparents, my grandfather Harold used to count 1,000 blueberries in a bag before he allowed himself to talk to us. My grandmother Mary and I sat and ate the blueberries, while he did not look.

“The smell of sitting among heather and blueberries just transports me to that moment. So the takeaway I want people to have is to try foraging, it’s free, it’s good for the soul and it’s a good excuse to connect with nature and each other. ”

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