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RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2014
Image by Karen Roe
From the Moors to the Sea – a celebration of RHS Britain in Bloom
Alan Titchmarsh designs RHS Britain in Bloom 50th anniversary garden at Chelsea Flower Show.
Alan Titchmarsh is celebrating his own 50th year in horticulture by designing a special Chelsea garden for RHS Britain in Bloom.
RHS Vice President, Alan Titchmarsh MBE VMH DL, is designing the garden at this year’s show, sponsored by M&G Investments, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of RHS Britain in Bloom and Alan’s own 50 years in horticulture.
It is almost 30 years since Alan has designed a garden at the world’s most famous horticultural event. He was awarded a Gold medal in 1985 for his Country Kitchen garden. This year Alan is joining forces with another RHS Chelsea Flower Show Gold medal winner, Kate Gould, to create ‘From the Moors to the Sea – a celebration of RHS Britain in Bloom’, which will be a garden feature.
Currently, after 50 years, there are 300,000 Bloom volunteers who look after 200,000 acres of public land and save the UK millions of pounds annually by cleaning up and greening up their neighbourhoods. The enthusiasm and drive of Bloom volunteers helps create communities that make better places to live.
The garden feature will demonstrate how the 300,000 volunteers help to make Britain bloom as well as exploring Alan’s relationship with horticulture through his life.
The journey starts in the Yorkshire Dales where more than 50 Bloom groups work year round to transform their local streets and neighbourhoods, and where Alan was born. It finishes with a seaside scene to depict the Isle of Wight where civic pride has united Bloom volunteers, schools and businesses, and where Alan has a home and garden.
RHS Director General, Sue Biggs, said: “By bringing people together across Britain to enhance their surroundings, Bloom makes an immense difference to the UK, from promoting planting for bees and butterflies and making beautiful and social places for people to live to boosting communities financially through encouraging tourism.
“Alan is one of the most powerful forces in horticulture, reaching out to and promoting gardening to millions of people. He has also been one of the biggest supporters of the RHS and, as this garden demonstrates, continues to generously support and promote horticultural campaigns that transform lives and reinforce our great position as a nation of gardeners.
“As the world’s most famous and best horticultural event, RHS Chelsea is the perfect place to celebrate both Alan’s and RHS Britain in Bloom’s 50th anniversaries.”
Alan Titchmarsh, said: “I can think of no better way of celebrating 50 years as a professional gardener, and 50 years of RHS Britain in Bloom, than by creating a garden for the RHS at the Chelsea Flower Show. I began my career in horticulture on the edge of Ilkley Moor and now garden on the Isle of Wight – a fact which is reflected in my Chelsea garden and in Bloom itself which celebrates the importance of life-enhancing floral displays from one end of the British Isles to the other. ‘From the Moors to the Sea’ is a joyous celebration of our floral heritage and the people who do their bit to conserve our islands’ plants and flowers and realise the importance of beautifying our surroundings whether in village, town or city.”
Kate Gould is working closely with Alan to deliver the garden with the contractor, Mark Gregory, of Landform Consultants. It will be located next to the RHS stand, at the bottom of Main Avenue opposite the triangle. As it is an RHS garden feature it will not be judged.
Chippenham Park is a large country house with substantial gardens, lakes, woodlands walks and parkland dating back to the 17th Century. The spectacular gardens are open to the public several times a year from Spring through to Autumn.
The Park is also available for weddings, special events and photographic shoots.
The gardens received a top, two-star rating in the Good Gardens Guide 2010, placing them amongst the finest gardens in the country.
14th October Glorious Autumn colours and late colour in the borders. Famously delicious BBQ, Teas, Cakes and refreshments.
Chippenham Park was created at the very end of the 17th century as an ‘Anglo-Dutch’ designed landscape comprising canals, park, and formal gardens.
It was subsequently informalised by 18th and 19th century designers including William Eames and Samuel Lappidge. Chippenham Park contains a wealth of earthworks and waterways which relate to the parkland and garden landscapes and to the village settlement which pre-dated the park.
Features that have remained surprisingly static through history include the walled kitchen garden, the formal waterway on the east side of the park; and complex waterways south of the kitchen garden. Some of the trees, including those marking the original drive from the west.
The Gardens Now…
When Anne Crawely moved to the Chippenham Park estate in 1985 she immediately set about restoring and expanding what had once been a great garden.
There is now possibly the greatest display of snowdrops and aconites in East Anglia and the Spring Garden with its breath-taking display of daffodils, narcissi and shrubs stretches for half a mile around the lake. Additionally there are recently restored and cleared great canals created in the 18th century.
The summer garden has a huge display of nearly 500 roses and a generously stocked ‘Long Border’ of perennials and shrubs of about 250 metres in length. The ‘Wilderness’ is a wooded walk full of fascinating berrying trees and shrubs, some quite rare which has interest all year round.
Most recently she has created from dereliction a contemporary, formal garden in the old kitchen garden. This bold garden makes use of pleached pears, beech hedging, yew and lawn as well as a massive arched colonnade of leylandii to divide the 5-acre walled garden. The four quads feature large terracotta jars of Spanish and Greek origin set amongst grasses, a large earthwork mound and a theatre of yew.
At the North end of this garden is a substantial and beautiful house created from the old 18th century head gardener’s cottage and glasshouses.