Excitingly for this yr’s RHS Chelsea Flower Present, I’ve teamed up with Switzerland Tourism to provide an perception into the nation’s horticulture by making a secluded non-public backyard that pulls inspiration and showcases the distinctive flora that typifies the completely different areas of Switzerland. It is going to have fun the floral variation that its various local weather brings, mixing alpine and Mediterranean planting for instance the nation’s distinctive pure landscapes. Options seen throughout Switzerland have been scaled and interpreted throughout the bounds of a 10m x 10m exhibit; it is a approach any backyard proprietor can make use of when reflecting their travels or influences in their very own out of doors areas, regardless of the dimensions.
As with all large-scale occasions affected by the pandemic, this yr’s September present date marks the primary time the Chelsea Flower Present has not been held in Could in its 108-year historical past. For designers and guests that is an energising change and unknown floor. We are going to see a distinct palette of completely grown crops, the potential addition of seed-heads, and the fiery colors related to late summer time and early autumn. I’m desirous to see what the astounding growers within the Floral Marquee will show; it’s a horticultural wonderland the place I at all times discover myself gravitating in the direction of the alpine displays. We now have the chance with our present backyard, A Swiss Sanctuary, to provide these alpines a headline spot out on Royal Hospital Method, too.
As a method of accumulating inspiration, I used to be fortunate to journey to Switzerland final summer time, safely between lockdowns, visiting areas linked to the backyard – Bern, Ticino and Lake Geneva, in addition to a keep in Lucerne. Crossing the areas, I used to be in a position to expertise the balmy temperatures of Ticino and Geneva, with stops to fulfill a camellia skilled. I toured vineyards and explored the famend plant collections on the Brissago Islands, visited a tea plantation and wandered the streets dotted with magnolias, palms and oleander. A few of these crops will probably be included throughout the design to focus on the Mediterranean local weather of those areas.
To signify Bern, we are going to use crops comparable to eryngiums, asters and achillea to show how they shine out in native meadows and grasslands, together with woodland edge-dwelling species comparable to galium, astrantia and ferns that bear shut resemblance to these discovered within the wild.
Horticulturally, past the herb and productive farm gardens with their nursed consideration to element, most likely probably the most eye-opening a part of the journey was seeing how prevalent fruit timber are throughout the areas, whether or not standing proud exterior non-public rural gardens, within the parks and gardens of cities, or seen from prepare home windows occupying huge areas of countryside. Which is why an apple tree will now be positioned upfront to mirror this deep, long-standing relationship with fruit rising.
To create a Swiss really feel within the backyard, giant stones will signify the prominence that mountains maintain within the panorama, whereas a gently cascading water characteristic feeds right into a central pool, evoking reminiscences of the astoundingly lovely clear waters of Lake Maggiore in Ticino, Lake Thun in Interlaken, Bern and Lake Geneva. All of us really feel the advantages of being by water when on vacation, so it is a method of bringing that feeling again right into a backyard to expertise it frequently.
The a part of the present backyard I’m significantly trying ahead to realising is the seating space. On any one among Switzerland’s many waterfront edges, you’ll normally discover a completely positioned bench on which to sit down again and take within the magnificent views. However as an alternative of any common bench, right here we can have a bespoke iron seat designed to mirror Switzerland’s wonderful public transport system, one which places sustainability on the forefront whereas effortlessly opening up the nation and unlocking views throughout epic alpine landscapes. The bench’s design is impressed by the patterns prepare tracks make within the panorama, the place they cross and merge, to create a singular piece of backyard furnishings.
Travelling throughout Switzerland, you start to see the variability the nation has to supply, and the way there may be not one typical fashion of Swiss backyard. Rising from these travels simply as crops emerge from the soil, A Swiss Sanctuary combines components of design, materiality and plant palettes to create a singular, extremely private house impressed by journey. It’s a backyard that exhibits how horticulture can mirror our favorite locations, on this case with Switzerland at its coronary heart.
For extra, go to the Gardens of Switzerland community gardensofswitzerland.ch
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Switzerland’s distinctive mountain surroundings is as iconic as its watches, cheese and chocolate.
Connecting with its pure magnificence on skis or snowshoes is as rewarding as experiencing the city aptitude and high quality of life synonymous with Swiss cities.
So whether or not you’re travelling now or planning forward, uncover Switzerland at myswitzerland.com