Community garden centerpiece to feature at RHS Chelsea 2015
Rather than following the traditional route of simply attaching its name to a show garden, first time RHS Chelsea Flower Show sponsor Morgan Stanley has asked Chelsea stalwart Chris Beardshaw to design a garden to form an integral part of the firm’s global Healthy Cities programme.
‘The Morgan Stanley Healthy Cities Garden’ is an artistic interpretation of ‘community’ and has been specifically designed by Chris to be relocated after the show to become the central feature of a new community project in East London. (Further details of the project will be announced by Morgan Stanley in early 2015.) This project builds on the firm’s 40+ year commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of children through philanthropic community involvement.
Through the design, Chris has taken a holistic view and considered the mechanism of what makes a city healthy and, by definition, what gives rise to a healthy community.
The formal geometry of the hedges, paths and walls, symbolises the physical infrastructure of a community. The internal, interwoven knot garden creates a framework for Chris’ vibrant perennial planting which denotes the social diversity within a community. The understorey of contrasting and flowing perennials are punctuated with sparkling vertical spires which create a cloud of colour to draw the planting together in a harmonious tapestry. Like the residents, the plants are diverse in their geographic origin, texture and character, but they coexist to form a successful community.
The Morgan Stanley Healthy Cities programme integrates the delivery of the fundamental building blocks of Wellness, Play and Nutrition so that children can get a healthy start in life. Once the show garden is relocated, it will become the centrepiece of a newly developed community space which will include a safe place for children to learn and play, a location for community events, and dedicated areas for residents to grow their own produce.
Eight times RHS gold medal winner, Chris Beardshaw said, “Creating a beautiful standalone show garden which also has to work as one tile within a wider project, is an exciting challenge and one I hope we have achieved through this design. I am wholly supportive of Morgan Stanley’s Healthy Cities initiative as I believe that people in all communities should have access to quality green space, areas for play and the opportunity to positively interact. I am thrilled to be representing the work of Morgan Stanley with this show garden and wider community project and am looking forward to working with its team of volunteers in helping to relocate this garden to its new home following Chelsea.”
Colm Kelleher, President of Institutional Securities, Morgan Stanley commented that the company were delighted to be working with Chris on their first ever Chelsea show garden: “Chris has considerable experience in working on community space projects and his design for the Morgan Stanley Healthy Cities show garden fully embraces the core themes of our Healthy Cities programme”, he said. “We are looking forward to working with Chris not only to produce a stunning garden for Chelsea, but also to relocate the garden as a lasting legacy for the benefit of the community.”
Chris is a popular designer with the Chelsea public and has been involved with a wide range of horticultural projects and educational initiatives. He currently appears on BBC’s weekly Beechgrove Garden from April-October and is a panellist on Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time. He has won the People’s Choice award three times and I have no doubt that his 2015 garden will be just as popular, once again delighting visitors to RHS Chelsea with his plantsman’s passion for vibrant and luscious plant combinations which has become his signature.
Sponsors Morgan Stanley is a leading global financial services firm providing investment banking securities, with offices in 43 countries. The Healthy Cities programme builds on Morgan Stanley’s Global Alliance for Children’s Health, the flagship of which is the company’s 40 years relationship with the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of New York-Presbyterian. Recently the company has created partnerships with international hospitals, including the Gt Ormond Street Hospital.
The show garden will be located on Royal Hospital Way.
Photo credits: Chris Beardshaw © Recklessgardener