Magna Carta celebrated at RHS Chelsea

banner-Runnymede-Magna-Carta-Garden-CFS-2015Celebrating a grand event of 1215, the ‘Runnymede Surrey Magna Carta 800th Anniversary Garden’ designed by A Touch of France Garden design, demonstrates an evocative garden of the medieval period.

Designers Patricia Thirion and Janet Honour are no strangers to RHS Chelsea and it’s a delight to see them return this year. Their colourful garden for Water Aid in 2013 earned them a well deserved Gold medal and I am sure that their 2015 garden for sponsors Surrey County Council and Runnymede Hotel will be just as successful.

Patricia told Reckless Gardener that they are really excited to be back at Chelsea, explaining that the garden’s design will take the form of an evocative layout of the medieval period. Magna Carta was sealed in 1215 under oath by King John at Runnymede, the first legal document imposed upon an English sovereign by a group of his subjects.

Design elements include a wattle arbour over a turf bench, wattle obelisks and medieval garden features. Raised beds, a fountain and heraldic pennants will set the scene for the period.

“We decided to design a garden with a formal layout evocative of the gardens of the medieval period when the charter was sealed,” explains Patricia. The design symbolizes law and order with the boundaries using wattle fencing to provide support for plants such as roses, honeysuckle and hops. The raised beds will have wattle surrounds to display a combination of ornamental plants. Planting is a mixture of colours and textures typically found in the medieval garden but with a few modern exceptions.

Two apple trees, commonly grown in gardens of the period, stand on either side of the turf bench as key structural plants.

At the front of the garden, a slice of a yew tree trunk, inscribed to relate to the Magna Carta, will be a feature set in a meadow-planted bed. This is symbolic of the ancient Ankerwycke Yew, said to be about 2000 years old, and growing near Runnymede close to the site where Magna Carta was sealed.

Patricia admits that the 2015 design is totally different to their previous ones at Chelsea, however I feel sure this design will be just as popular with show visitors as the girls weave their magic with the medieval period.

You can find out more about A Touch of France Garden Design on their website at:

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