M&G Garden inspired by ancient oak woodland


Twice winner of Best in Show and eight RHS Gold Medals, Designer Cleve West returns to RHS Chelsea 2016 with the M&G Garden.

Leading asset manager, M&G Investments, the title sponsor of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show since 2010, has commissioned Cleve as its garden designer for a second time. The inspiration for the 2016 M&G Garden is the moment that Cleve fell in love with the timeless rugged landscape of South West England.

Cleve has tapped into his memories of teenage beguilement with the rocks and woods of Exmoor. The design will pay a contemporary homage to the landscape that made such an early impression on him.

At the centre of the garden will be a sunken terrace and pool in grey sandstone, soured from the Forest of Dean. Edges are sharp and the layout geometric, the essence of modern design.

side-cleve-west.georgous pic copyCleve (pictured left) also features a stone and gravel path through woodland edge planting leading past stunted oaks and rocks to a smoother path. The oak woodland inspired garden will feature up to seven trees and other planting including shrubs, perennials, grasses, ferns, bulbs and annuals. Key planned flora include: Downy Oak (Quercus pubescens), Honeysuckle (Lonicera periclymenum), Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum) Whortleberry (Vaccinium myrtillus), Golden Columbine (Aquilegia chrysantha), Brook Thistle (Cirsium atropurpureum), Mountain Cranesbill (Geranium pyrenaicum Bill Wallis), Siberian Flag (Iris sibirica) and Wild Strawberry (Fragaria vesca).

Cleve is delighted to be working for M&G once again: “I am extremely happy to be working with M&G Investments for a second time. For the 2016 garden, I am seeking to capture that moment in my youth when I was first inspired by the natural landscape and then take that memory and use contemporary design to create a garden that blends both ancient and modern, past and present,” explains Cleve.  “Designing for M&G has been a hugely enjoyable experience in the past and I will be working with a fantastic team this year to bring our vision to life. Sponsoring RHS Chelsea for this many years has enabled M&G to make a real difference in horticulture, particularly in helping to inspire more young people to get in to gardening which is a wonderful thing.

Jacqui Haskins, M&G Marketing Director, comments: “2016 will be our seventh year as title sponsor of the Chelsea Flower Show and we’re thrilled as ever to be supporting this prestigious event. Having worked with Cleve in 2014, we’re confident that he’ll deliver a garden which will inspire and delight while reflecting our core values as an asset manager.”

We wish Cleve and his team every success with the garden which we feel sure will be a definite favourite with show-goers.

The 2016 RHS Chelsea Flower Show runs from the 24th – 28th May, 2016. For further information, tickets etc log onto: rhs.org.uk/flowershows

Photo credits: banner ©RHS Media Image Collection; Cleve West, ©Reckless Gardener.