Tamil Nadu-inspiration for Discovery Zone at RHS Chelsea

banner-THE-LIFEWORKS-GLOBAL-GARDEN-AT-RHS-CHELSEA-2016-BY-THOMAS-HOBLYNAward-winning landscape and garden designer Thomas Hoblyn will bring a Tamil Nadu-inspired kitchen garden to the Discovery Zone at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show, for the not-for-profit organization Lifeworks Global.

The ‘Lifeworks Global Garden’ will depict a life-changing environmental solution for the impoverished villages of Tamil Nadu in Southern India. Visitors will be able to see how organic farming practices, traditional crop production and water-filtering techniques could help rid families of malnutrition and replenish natural resources in the region.

Designed as a kitchen garden, it will sit within a distressed architectural frame, representing a typical Tamil Nadu village home. The frame will be teeming with vibrant vegetation to show how the regeneration of the area will come from the people within the home.

Lofty orange jasmine and mango trees set among a towering sugar palm will indicate the importance of introducing new trees to the region to provide shade, encourage rainfall and improve the micro-climate, while traditional crops such as chillies, ginger and tomatoes will symbolise the powerful alternatives to the harmful ‘cash crops’ that have dominated the province and depleted the land in recent years.

Planting will be arranged over three levels with plants embedded into every possible crevice of the structure to show how potential growing space is embraced in the community. On the upper level, a robust sugar palm (Borassus flabellifer) will rise through the architecture frame alongside a Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis) and Mango tree (Mangifera indica).

Garden designer Thomas Hoblyn said: “Having been to India and witnessed some of the very issues that Lifeworks Global are trying to resolve, I was only too keen to help. Using organic techniques to help heal the land is something I truly believe in. The project also indulged my passion for working with tropical plants as discovered whilst training at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew“.

Sponsors Lifeworks Global works in developing countries to build and strengthen sustainable communities through innovative projects and support programmes.

Information on the work of Lifeworks Global can be found http://lifeworks.global/

Designer Thomas Hoblyn, is currently creating a new landmark sculpture park in one of Devon’s most prestigious country houses and recently completed work on the Greenwich Peninsular Garden alongside designer Tom Dixon and horticulturalist Alys Fowler. He is the winner of three RHS Gold Medals and won the coveted RHS People’s Choice Award for an Italian Renaissance garden at RHS Chelsea in 2012. Tom’s website can be found at: www.thomashoblyn.com