Harmonious Garden of Life set for Chelsea

French Landscape architect and designer Laurélie de la Salle will be making her Chelsea debut at the 2019 Show with the Harmonious Garden of Life – a garden designed to answer the question: “How can gardens help regenerate our environment in response to global warming, pollution and the depletion of resources?”

The garden, in the Space to Grow category, will encourage positive interaction between the four kingdoms – animal, vegetable, mineral and human, and between the four elements, air, earth, water and fire, in order to create a balance and synergy for our environment.

Unique in the sense that every single element of the garden has been chosen to regenerate the environment – there is no electrical connection to the power grid. Water circulation will be produced solely by human and solar energy and the pool of water featured in the garden will self-clean by plants while bamboo purifies the air and clover enriches the soil.

A pergola with a swing which is a relaxation space will feature, opening onto a pond and an enclosure with an occulus. The swing and pond are connected. Human energy provides the swinging motion which pumps water up to the filtering plants before it flows down the canal to the pond again. Aromatic plants and a salvia bed will attract and support bees with an empty terracotta beehive offering shelter.

Laurélie (picturd left) explains that most of the plants in the garden need very little water and that clover meadow will enrich the soil naturally. Bamboo absorbs high amounts of carbon (30% more than average plants while Ivy absorbs chemicals in the air.

Laurélie’s gardens are characterized by the creation of different ambiances with large panels of Mediterranean species. The areas are connected to each other in order to set a scene with different shapes, textures and colours of leaves and flowers. Drawing on her extensive botanical knowledge, Laurélie is able to play on the contrast of sophistication and naturalism. The Stipa meadow has become one of her signature features and in recent years, she has worked on this, dedicating a space in her own gardens for Stipa meadow and experimenting with how to associate it with different blooming species adapted to drought.

As Laurélie points out, today sustainable development is no longer an option but a priority. The regeneration of the global ecosystem is a shared responsibility and she works to try and achieve a positive impact so that our children have a chance to contemplate the beauty of our planet and become actors of its care.

This Chelsea garden will offer solutions focused on the regeneration of the Mediterranean ecosystem and hopefully serve as a generic garden concept that can be transposed to any other ecosystem from Scotland to Polynesia!

The garden is sponsored by Robert and Susan Cawthorn with plant sponsor Margheriti piante – Chiusi-Italie. Laurélie has created over 80 parks and gardens, mostly for private clients. Over the years she has observed nature and uses her knowledge to create environmentally friendly gardens. She has her own landscape agency “Laurélie de la Salle Paysages” in her homeland of Provence.

We feel sure that the garden, with Laurélie’s important message, will highlight a lot of important issues for visitors as well as helping answer questions over sustainability and regeneration.

All images ©Laurelie de la Salle