Exciting plans for new gardens at RHS Wisley

Award-winning designer Ann-Marie Powell has been appointed by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) to design two new gardens around the planned new Centre for Horticultural Science and Learning on the Hilltop at RHS Garden Wisley.

She will be joining leading landscape designer Matt Keightley, who will be creating the third garden at the site. The three gardens will form part of Christopher Bradley-Hole’s horticultural masterplan for RHS Garden Wisley, further details of which will be released by the RHS later this year.

Ann-Marie will design the Wildlife Garden and Kitchen Garden to form a ‘living laboratory’ when they open in the spring of 2020. They will play an important part in the enhanced learning experience by illustrating how plants impact our daily lives.

Matt will be designing the third garden at the site, a Health and Wellbeing Garden, which is also the inspiration for his RHS Feel Good Garden at this year’s (2018) RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Familiar to many, not only as a gold-medal winning designer of gardens at RHS Flower Shows, but also as an author, columnist and TV present, Ann-Marie (pictured left) was the talent behind the 2016 Greening Grey Britain garden at the Chelsea Flower Show that year. This is the first time, however, that she will be working to create permanent spaces at an RHS Garden.

RHS Director General, Sue Biggs, says: “We are absolutely thrilled to have Ann-Marie on board to help shape the future of RHS Garden Wisley, and excited to see her innovative ideas come to life. Since its very first days under the care of the RHS, Wisley has been at the forefront of education in horticulture, and Ann-Marie’s designs will provide an easily accessible source of inspiration and learning for all who visit.”

Part of the RHS £160 million investment programme in horticulture, for which £20 million of funding still needs to be raised, the new gardens will help to bring visitors closer than ever to world-leading gardening science, by demonstrating beautiful horticulture, best practice and cutting edge research.

Ann-Marie’s garden designs will be filled with take-home inspiration for encouraging a healthy wildlife ecosystem and nurturing a bountiful vegetable patch. She will be working with the knowledgeable teams at Wisley and is delighted and honoured to be asked to design these important spaces at the garden: “It was the first garden that flicked my switch and it’s always been a hub for experimentation, so I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to put together something completely different and help to share inspiration with everyone who visits, no matter their level of skill. As I work with all the teams at Wisley, I’m learning and gaining insight into their vast knowledge and expertise and that is exactly what I hope these gardens will do for generations of visitors to come,” explained Ann-Marie.

Photo credits: all photographs © Royal Horticultural Society