Chelsea garden to celebrate British craftsmanship

The Boodles ‘Best of British Garden‘ at the 2023 RHS Chelsea Flower Show, is a celebration of British craftsmanship and will feature a woodland glade-like garden, filled with plants selected for their perfect forms.

Designed by Tom Hoblyn, the garden sees the very best British craftspeople creating a garden on the premise that craftsmanship is the refinement and stylisation of Mother Nature. Inspired by the Pre-Raphaelite’s stylised depiction of woodlands, the garden features an arbour (created by Cox London) as the destination in the garden and mimics the woodland surroundings in the form of intricate leafy tiles and branchlike framework.

The arbour will be partially clad in Cox London leaf-like tiles as a kind of canopy. The support within will be their signature branch-like framework as though branches are holding up the leaves. Curated by top interior designer Rachel Chudley, woodland inspired furnishings adorn within the arbour using the very best craftspeople.

Jake Catling, of The Landscaping Consultants, has worked his stonemasonry magic in creating rustic yet refined paths and terrace using highly fossilised Chatsworth stone.

A floating pool will ripple as if raindrops are falling – made from mild steel, the giant saucer will brim with water to create a mirror effect. Bamber Wallis has created 150 hydraulic pressure points that will simulate the effect of rainfall when it’s not raining. Beginning with occasional droplets and building up to the crescendo of a downpour.

Selected, refined and stylised forms of plants have been chosen to plant the garden reinforcing the theme Mother Nature. The highly intricate feathery form of Alnus Imperialis and the weeping habit of Betula pendula (pictured left) feature. The double flowering rambling rose Félicité Perpétue rambles over the arbour while coloured forms of grasses, sedges and perennials will surround the pool.

Tom (pictured above right) points out that it is always a delight for him to design a garden for Chelsea and an honour to work with a host of the country’s best craftspeople: “We have the very best craftspeople and materials right here in the UK, and we designers should be embracing these valuable resources in the creation of something truly unique rather than the usual homogenised designs we see time and time again. I hope this garden will highlight and celebrate the enormous British talent that comes together to create the unique and spectacular.”

No stranger to RHS Chelsea, Tom and his team seek to increase the ecological diversity and richness of any landscape. In 2022 he was awarded a Gold Medal for The Boodles Travel Garden.

The perennials for the garden will be supplied by Kelways, while Jacques Amand International will supply flowering bulbs of many varieties and Peter Beales Roses will supply the rose varieties for the garden.

Banner garden image: ©Tom Hoblyn.