Chelsea garden to feature genuine lock gates

The Welcome to Yorkshire show garden at the 2019 RHS Chelsea Flower Show will feature genuine lock gates recently removed from a canal in Yorkshire.

Donated by the Canal & River Trust, the gates will feature on the canal themed show garden to be designed by Mark Gregory, whose 2018 Dales inspired Welcome to Yorkshire garden proved such a hit with show visitors and television viewers alike. The 2018 garden won a Gold Medal as well as the coveted People’s Choice Award and Best Construction Prize.

The Canal & River Trust are teaming up with the tourism organisation to celebrate the county’s rich industrial heritage and the hundreds of miles of stunning waterways which run across the county.

The Trust cares for canals and waterways including the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Pocklington Canal and Sheffield & Tinsley Canal and is helping to bring Mark’s garden to life to provide a totally authentic Yorkshire experience. The gates have been removed from the Huddersfield Narrow Canal to form the focal point of the garden.

People from across the Trust, including volunteer lock keepers, heritage experts and apprentice carpenters, will be supporting the garden and sharing their knowledge, lending artefacts and getting hands-on to help build some of the features.

Sean McGinley, Director Yorkshire & North East at Canal & River Trust says they are delighted to partner with Welcome to Yorkshire and offer their expertise and passion to showcase the county’s spectacular waterways: “Spending time on or by your local canal can make you feel happier and healthier, so we hope this garden will encourage more people to get out by Yorkshire’s beautiful waterways to reap the benefits,” he says.

Mark Gregory (pictured left) is delighted to once again design the Welcome to Yorkshire Chelsea garden and is pleased that the Canal & River Trust have come on board: “They are the perfect fit for this year’s Yorkshire garden,” he says. “It’s so important to tell the story of just how vital the canal system was to this country, its engineering and sheer scale: the motorways of their time. And from that, to their use today as an essential part of the leisure and tourism industry and a valuable environmental resource. 

This garden will showcase the importance of canals right across Yorkshire and beyond. It will be a big challenge for myself and the team, but so much fun. We can’t wait to get started.”

Sir Gary Verity DL, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, points out that with the Canal & River Trust on board, the Chelsea garden will truly represent Yorkshire’s stunning waterways: “It’s our tenth trip to the prestigious flower show as we celebrate the organisation’s tenth year – so it’s extra special,” he says. “Like us, the Trust shout loud and proud about the beauty which is around on all our doorsteps here in Yorkshire and together we will show the world why a visit here is essential with towns, cities, coastline, countryside and of course our beautiful canals just waiting to be explored,” he added.

The 2019 RHS Chelsea will see Mark working on his 99th garden at Chelsea having been involved with the Show for the last 31 years. He has personally designed five RHS Chelsea gardens, the last four of which all won gold.

(pictured above) Mark in an in-depth meeting discussing plans to adapt canal gates for show garden with Canal & River Trust joinery apprentices Vanessa Coakley and Adam Cluny.

The Welcome to Yorkshire Garden at Chelsea has seen the organisation awarded two Gold Medals, six Silver and one Silver Gilt as well as seven People’s Choice Awards. The Canals and Rivers Trust brings to life 2,000 miles of canals and rivers across England and Wales.





Picture credits: Strictly ©Welcome to Yorkshire/Mark Gregory