Looking to the future: Three New RHS Wisley Gardens
We haven’t posted a blog for a while, and as usual this is a sign that we are busy. We had been preparing a blog about the gardens we were building for RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2020, describing the behind the scenes work that’s been going on months, before all the projects are announced. This year had been no exception, we were working with three sets of designers no less, so we had a lot to tell you! However, with the world facing a pandemic, the news that RHS Chelsea has been cancelled is sad but completely understandable. These are unprecedented times and everyone’s safety is paramount.
Fortunately, we do have some news which looks ahead to the future, to a time when we can enjoy our outdoor spaces again, perhaps even more than we already do now. We have begun building three new gardens at RHS Wisley, in Surrey, which will be centred around the new purpose-built National Centre for Horticultural Science and Learning.
The gardens have been created by high-profile designers Ann-Marie Powell and Matt Keightley. The first garden to be built is Keightley’s “Wellbeing Garden”, which will be a series of garden rooms in which visitors can explore the many ways gardens can be used for physical and psychological therapy. The garden will help to teach a new generation about the importance of connecting with plants for natural health care and relaxation.
The Wildlife Garden, designed by Ann-Marie Powell, will draw inspiration from natural environments found around the British Isles. By “going native”, it will demonstrate the importance of plant diversity, helping to highlight our declining species. It will also highlight the role that plants and trees play in mitigating extreme weather conditions.
The final garden to be built will be the innovative World Food Garden, also designed by Powell. She has designed a “plot to plate” experience, which promises to invigorate and educate. Inspired by the traditional large vegetable garden, features will include an edible maze and an outdoor demonstration kitchen encouraging visitors to grow their own at home.
The prestigious 15-month build sees Mark Gregory return to his roots: “I started my horticultural journey at RHS Garden Wisley, 40 years ago, so it is an absolute honour to return to this cathedral of horticultural excellence to deliver these three gardens by such renowned designers. “I spent one of the best years of my life here and left feeling totally inspired by both the people and the place so I feel it is a privilege to be asked to return to play a part in this next phase of RHS Wisley’s story and be a part of its legacy for future generations.”
Andy Jasper, Programme Director at RHS Garden Wisley, added: “It is a great pleasure to have Mark and his team working with us at Wisley on this landmark project. Mark was involved with the major restoration of one of the oldest garden areas when he was a student here, and for him to return and deliver the newest seems so fitting. We can’t wait to see how this team – an unstoppable force of nature – bring these incredible new gardens to life alongside two more superstar designers, Ann-Marie Powell and Matt Keightley.”
For more information on our build progress, please visit our social media channels regularly. We look forward to bringing you updates on this project in the future.