RHS Greening Grey Britain Garden for RHS Chelsea 2017

Inspirational ideas for the future development of urban spaces with ‘low-input’, ‘high-impact’ planting will be on show at the Royal Horticultural Society 2017 Chelsea Flower Show with the RHS Greening Grey Britain show garden, designed by Nigel Dunnett.

To meet the challenges of climate-change and rapid urban development, the Greening Grey Britain Garden, an RHS feature at the Chelsea Flower Show (23rd to 27th May 2017), will showcase how and why plants, nature and gardens have never been needed more in our towns and cities.

Designer, Professor Nigel Dunnett, explains that gardens and plants are no longer an optional and decorative ‘nice-to-have’ but essential: “With pollution levels dangerously high in cities like London, Glasgow and Southampton and flash-flooding devastating areas of the country last year, we need to all embrace the fact that plants help mitigate against some of the biggest environmental threats facing us today,” he says.

Set within an urban context of high-rise and apartment blocks, the RHS Greening Grey Britain garden focuses on practical and creative solutions for where space is at a premium, including balconies and other spaces on and around the buildings themselves.

Nigel uses plants that soak-up pollution as well as those which are drought-tolerant. The garden employs water-sensitive design ideas, such as rain gardens and wetland areas to deal with flash flooding. The garden will be full of ecological ideas set within a modern and contemporary design.

“The benefits of plants, gardens and greenspaces aren’t appreciated enough,” Nigel adds, “and I hope that by showcasing realistic, simple and sustainable ideas that are directly relevant to home gardeners, community groups and crucially, to urban residential and commercial developers we can make a difference.”

As Nigel points out, we know that gardens and gardening bring people together and there is overwhelming evidence that they make us feel better and healthier. These ideas will be central to the design.

The garden will also contain RHS Chelsea’s first ever street-art wall, created by internationally acclaimed Sheffield street artists Faunagraphic and Rocket01.

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