Chris Beardshaw inspires music with the Morgan Stanley Garden

Morgan Stanley is returning to Chelsea Flower Show for a third consecutive year with ‘The Morgan Stanley Garden’ designed by Chris Beardshaw.

The garden creates an exciting opportunity for young musicians from the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain (NYO) to work with Chris to compose and perform a unique piece of music inspired by the garden’s design.

As with Morgan Stanley’s previous Show Gardens, this design reflects the Firm’s longstanding commitment to children’s health and education with the focus this year on education. Morgan Stanley and Chris Beardshaw are working together with the NYO, to explore how the emotional responses created by the garden can be expressed in music, to provide an engaging multi-sensory experience.

The 2017 Chelsea garden will feature three distinct areas, celebrating the opposing environments that can be experienced in British gardens. Unusually for Chelsea, the public will be able to view the garden from three sides with each perspective providing a contrasting planting style which can be viewed either in isolation or as a stunning cohesive whole.

The first planting area forms a naturalistic woodland, featuring a collection of specimen native Acer campestre and soft unclipped Taxus baccata, provoking a sense of enclosure with pockets of light and shade. The trees will be underplanted with an array of woodland perennial species providing a lush blend of foliage textures.

The second garden space provides a complete contrast with a bright open and temperate sun-soaked terrace. The area is richly planted with abundant jewel coloured perennials and filled with scent. Some of the woodland trees and shrub species are repeated here but in more formal guises, including clipped Taxus baccata.

An informal limestone path makes the transition through the whole garden passing through the third central space which features a dramatic oak and limestone performance pavilion, designed by Chris and inspired by his study of fractal geometry as found in nature and the structures of nature.

As with the two previous RHS Chelsea gardens, this garden will also live on after the show when it will be donated in its entirety to Groundwork, a community charity who will redesign and re-purpose the garden, through several different educational community schemes in East London.

Speaking about this year’s design Chris Beardshaw (pictured left) said: “I am delighted to be working with Morgan Stanley once again on such an exciting design concept. Gardens and music connect with everyone at some point in their lives and that is really what we are trying to celebrate here. We are working with the talented musicians from the NYO to try to illustrate how the music and garden might find some sort of parallel to create garden and music as one. I don’t believe there has ever been a garden at Chelsea that has been inspired by music, and the music inspired by the garden. We are trying to use the music to perhaps paint an audible picture, which describes the beauty of the garden and what the garden represents.”

Chris and musicians from the NYO are currently working together on the project and more information about the musical composition and its development will be released in the coming months.

Chris has consistently created stunning gardens at RHS Chelsea and is a multi-award winning designer, collecting over 30 awards including many RHS Best in Show’s and Gold awards. His gardens are always popular with Chelsea visitors and we can be sure that his 2017 garden for Morgan Stanley will be every bit as exciting, informative and visually delightful as in previous years. We can’t wait!

You can find out more information about The Morgan Stanley Garden at:

Photo credits: Banner ©Chris Beardshaw, Picture of Chris Beardshaw ©Reckless Gardener.