Meta garden for Chelsea

A Main Avenue garden designed to emphasise the inseparable connection between plants and fungi within woodland ecosystems is set to feature at the 2022 RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Designed award-winning designer by Joe Perkins, ‘The Meta Garden: Growing the Future‘ for sponsor Meta, (parent company of Facebook and Instagram) will highlight the beauty and versatility of timber and the critical role of nature-based solutions, such as tree planting and forest management in tackling climate change.

After the show the garden will be re-homed in the heart of the National Forest in central England at the Conkers Discovery Centre in Moira. The National Forest has transformed 200 square miles of the Midlands by planting nine million trees and reaching 22% forest coverage. The re-homing of the Chelsea show garden will make it available to the nine million visitors who come to the National Forest each year.

The donated garden will be included in the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative, which is focused on planting trees to celebrate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The re-homing will also support the community woodlands work of the National Forest with the garden being cared for by volunteers.

The Chelsea show garden will feature a complex pavilion structure inspired by the interaction between the mycorrhizal network and its host tree’s roots. The central seating area is sunken into the environment rather than imposed above it. Planting will make use of a naturalistic, future-proofed planting palette which takes inspiration from the British countryside to create a tranquil and intriguing atmosphere.

The colourful planting scheme will include white, yellow, purple and red featuring both native species threatened by climate change as well as those well suited to predicted future climatic conditions.

Meta’s VP of Northern Europe, Steve Hatch points out that the show garden champions nature-based solutions to climate change and shows how we can protect British woodlands: “We’re delighted to partner with the National Forest to re-home the garden so that millions of people can enjoy it for years to come.’

(above: National Forest Sketch)

John Everitt, Chief Executive of the National Forest Company, commented: “This is a forest of people as much as the trees. It is the people that have come together over the past 30 years to create the Forest, like nature’s mycelium network that underpins our biodiversity.  We believe in the power of trees to transform people’s lives as well as the landscape, and will be excited to see Joe Perkins’s Meta garden relocated here. It will provide a lasting inspiration for our communities and visitors, and a showcase for how we can all live more sustainably.”

The partnership between Meta and the National Forest is shining a light on how much more can be achieved when we all join together to take on shared challenges like climate change. It’s also good to know that a show garden will have life after the show, making it truly sustainable.

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show runs from the 24th to 28th May 2022. Details www.rhs.org.uk

Banner and image of garden in National Forest: credit garden design: ©Joe Perkins

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