Chelsea Flower Show: Maths, medicine and ‘a little madness’

Posted by on May 24, 2016

 Feast your eyes on the wonderful gardens created for Chelsea 2016. ET.
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  • 23 May 2016
  • From the sectionUK
A Chelsea Pensioner takes a photo of one of the show gardens

Garden designers and their teams stood proudly – albeit a little nervously – as the judges began their

rounds at the Chelsea Flower Show. If they needed a little calm, the gardens they have created – many on

themes of peace and tranquillity – could have provided it.

Jekka McVicar, who designed A Modern Apothecary for St John’s Hospice, says the garden is about

health and well being.

Everything in it – from rosemary and fennel to the sound of running water – can be good for body and

mind, she says.

She spoke to doctors, carers and artists before creating the garden, which is about the “power of plants”.

2016 Chelsea Flower Show: A Modern Apothecary
A Modern Apothecary will be relocated to St John’s Hospice after the Chelsea Flower Show
Chelsea 2016 garden: A Modern Apothecary for St John's Hospice
Chelsea 2016 garden: A Modern Apothecary for St John's Hospice
2016 Chelsea Flower Show: A Modern Apothecary
Jekka McVicar said she was “thrilled with the result” of her garden, which had been a “team effort”

Also focusing on health and healing is Paul Martin, creator of The Garden of Mindful Living for Vestra

Wealth.

It is intended as a calm space for mindfulness and wellness in a busy city life, with soft colours that are

“not jarring on the eyes”.

There is plenty of green – a colour Mr Martin says has proven calming effects on children with ADHD.

The Garden of Mindful Living, created by Paul Martin
Paul Martin’s garden is about finding a green retreat in the city

‘Colourful tapestry’

Matthew Wilson designed God’s Own Country – A Garden for Yorkshire based on inspiration from

York Minster’s East Window, which is the largest single expanse of medieval stained glass in Britain.

“Trying to get something of that scale and presence and sheer power in a Chelsea garden is an interesting

challenge,” he says.

Chelsea Flower Show: Welcome to Yorkshire - God's Own Country - A Garden for Yorkshire
Matthew Wilson’s Yorkshire garden contains a “contemplative area”
Chelsea Flower Show: Welcome to Yorkshire - God's Own Country - A Garden for Yorkshire
The colours of Matthew Wilson’s garden are based on York Minster’s East Window

He says he set about “deconstructing” all elements on the window’s design and “putting them back

together in a different order” in the garden, which is sponsored by Welcome to Yorkshire.

As well as a “colourful tapestry” of planting based on the window’s colours, there is an arch laid on its side

containing benches which point towards a “very calm, small cloister garden”.

Chelsea Flower Show: Welcome to Yorkshire - God's Own Country - A Garden for Yorkshire
God’s Own Country – A Garden for Yorkshire is one of 17 show gardens at Chelsea

Nick Bailey, designer of The Winton Capital Beauty of Mathematics Garden, says the concept is about

“subtly highlighting the mathematics that underpins everything”.

“No matter how wild something looks it’s actually driven by algorithms and equations,” he says.

A copper band runs through the garden, and on it are equations for processes including photosynthesis

and cellular expansion.

The Winton Capital Beauty of Mathematics Garden by Nick Bailey
A copper band runs through the Beauty of Mathematics garden
The Winton Capital Beauty of Mathematics Garden by Nick Bailey

The band represents a stem, and as it winds through the garden – changing function from a bench to a

banister to a planter – the planting thickens to reflect growth.

Diarmuid Gavin, who designed the Harrods British Eccentrics garden, says he mixed traditional themes

with “a little bit of madness”.

Diarmuid Gavin's garden at the 2016 Chelsea Flower Show
Image copyright GRAHAM EVA
The trees lining the path in Diarmuid Gavin’s Harrods British Eccentrics garden spin every 15 minutes
A rose in Diarmuid Gavin's Harrods British Eccentrics garden
Sunshine on Diarmuid Gavin's Harrods British Eccentrics garden

As well as “fireworks” of brightly coloured plants among more traditional planting, every 15 minutes the

trees and one of the borders rotate and some bob up and down.

“I like to have a bit of fun and try something new,” he explains.

The Telegraph garden at the 2016 Chelsea Flower Show
Andy Sturgeon designed the Telegraph Garden, intended as a “captured landscape”
Chelsea 2016 garden: Brewin Dolphin - Forever Freefolk
Brewin Dolphin – Forever Freefolk was designed by Rosy Hardy and invites visitors to “consider the
fragility” of chalk streams

Garden designers and their teams – many in smart suits not typically worn for gardening – were busy

watering, sweeping and making other last-minute adjustments on Monday morning before the arrival of

the judges.

Some teams were on their hands and knees for these final preparations in the London sunshine.

Chelsea Flower Show 2016: The
Image copyright GETTY IMAGES
ISenri-Sentei – Garage Garden was designed by Kazuyuki Ishihara
2016 Chelsea Flower Show: The Watahan East & West Garden
2016 Chelsea Flower Show: The Watahan East & West Garden
The Watahan East & West Garden was designed by Chihori Shibiyama and Yano Tea
Chelsea 2016 garden: Husqvarna garden
Chelsea 2016 garden: Chelsea Barracks Garden
2016 Chelsea Flower Show: LG Smart Garden
ILG Smart Garden was designed by Hay Hwang and was inspired by the concept of “intelligent
homes”

A field of 300,000 hand-crocheted poppies, which covers the space between the showground and the

Royal Hospital Chelsea, was designed by Phillip Johnson, who won Best Show Garden in 2013.

Chelsea Flower Show 2016: '5000 poppies' crochet display at the barracks
Chelsea Flower Show 2016: '5000 poppies' crochet display at the barracks
Chelsea Flower Show 2016: '5000 poppies' crochet display at the barracks
Chelsea Pensioners, who are all retired British soldiers, live at the Royal Hospital Chelsea

They are a tribute to those who served in all wars, and were made by “people from a range of cultures, and

communities and ages, from two to 102 years old”, the Royal Horticultural Society said.

Display of crocheted poppies at Chelsea Flower Show
Image copyright GRAHAM EVA
A field of almost 300,000 crocheted poppies has been created in tribute to those who have served
in war

Also at the show is a 10ft (3m) high floral installation created by Veevers Carter for New Covent Garden

Flower Market in honour of the Queen’s 90th birthday.

Made up of 10,000 flowers, 112 buckets and 300m of ribbon, it forms a portrait of the monarch.

The Queen with a giant portrait created using flowers
Image copyright PA
A giant portrait of the Queen has been created using flowers

The Queen and other members of the Royal Family, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and

Prince Harry, visited the show in the afternoon.

Many of the exhibits mark the Queen’s 90th birthday, including a 21ft floral arch of at least 10,000 blooms

and an exhibition of royal photographs at Chelsea dating back to 1949.

The Queen at Chelsea Flower Show
Image copyright PA
The Queen made a visit to the show

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