A rewilding themed garden - complete with beaver lodge - will take centre stage at this year's show
Gardens teeming with native plants that benefit wildlife will take centre stage at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2022, sponsored for the first time by The Newt in Somerset, as the show makes its anticipated return to the spring season, 24 – 28 May 2022.
Garden designers at the world’s most famous flower show are encouraging gardeners to embrace the wild and bring nature back, using native species rarely seen at RHS Chelsea to transform green spaces into wildlife-friendly havens.
Hawthorn will feature prominently alongside other woodland trees and shrubs including hazel, crab apple, weeping willow and hornbeam. Visitors can expect to see swathes of green speckled with whites, creams and pinks throughout the show.
Wild plants such as nettles, cow parsley, poppies and nectar-rich buttercups will add to the pastel colour palette and continue the wildlife-friendly, naturalistic theme.
Highlighting the ecological benefits of a wilded landscape, first-time RHS Chelsea designers Lulu Urquhart and Adam Hunt are using native plants, including hawthorn and field maples, to demonstrate the dramatic transformation of land through beaver reintroductions.
Beaver kit on a dam - photo credit - Josh Harris
Beavers are powerful symbols of the story of Britain's catastrophic loss of nature – and of how rewilding offers hope. Beavers are natural rewilders as their dams create nature-rich wetlands that support many other species and soak up carbon dioxide.
Yet, while these habitat-creating, flood-preventing animals are the beating heart of healthy river and wetland environments across Europe, in Britain we’ve been painfully slow to welcome them back to our countryside after centuries of extinction.
This beautiful garden at Chelsea will demonstrate the dramatic transformation of land through beaver reintroductions, inspiring visitors with a beautiful and unexpected vision.
Adam Hunt is a plant-lover, landscape designer, and ecologist. His passions are walking in nature, growing vegetables, mythology and re-wilding. He has extensive experience running landscape projects in the commercial, public and private sector. He was one of the original team who founded Trees for London (now Trees for Cities), Dorset Local Food Links and The Walled Kitchen Garden Network.
Adam said -
‘I am interested in how we relate to the land through myth and culture, finding how to remember the age-old love affair we have always had with nature.’
Lulu Urquhart is a passionate landscape designer and protagonist for re-wilding and ecological restoration; Lulu has harnessed the skills of landscape design & tree, soil and plant knowledge over the last 20 years and put that together to help people connect with and experience natural harmony more intimately. She loves the wild places and deepening into life’s rich unfolding at every turn, particularly in connection with the earth.
Lulu said -
‘We have a chance to remember Britain’s ancient landscape and to learn collectively how to bring this into existence. Based on the premise of nature’s perfection, we celebrate the complex and immaculate living systems found within our landscape, be they through the earth, water or air.’
Their studio - Urquhart & Hunt -
As principles at Urquhart & Hunt Landscapes, Design & Ecological Restoration Adam and Lulu guide their studio, aspiring to fulfil projects by taking the lead from this natural world to create great beauty and harmonise the balance of humans, ecology and wildlife within it.
The Urquhart & Hunt studio in Bruton
When designing they always pay respect to the ecology and cultural history of a landscape, considering these to be an integral part of the vernacular. They weave the stories of humans and nature together in a rich tapestry, creating heart opening and connecting spaces for the two to meet with meaning.
Their true love is to bring nature into our gardens and they continually strive to weave a tale of connection to the earth, celebrating horticulture, plants and people. They strongly believe that creating beauty through careful design and selection is an essential part of ecological restoration that is so needed in these times.
The garden is supporting Rewilding Britain.
Together, they co-founded & support The Tree Conference – an annual conference encompassing climate science and deep ecology to understand our relationship with and the true value of trees.
Helena Pettit, RHS Director of Gardens & Shows, says,
“We can’t wait to see the return of a spring RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2022 and welcome our visitors back after a two year wait. The show is jam-packed with stunning gardens and inspirational displays and with an abundance of wildlife-friendly planting, we won’t be the only ones buzzing!”
For more information on the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2022 including the full garden line up please visit: https://www.rhs.org.uk/press/shows
Adam Hunt and Lulu Urquhart