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Beavers and biodiversity win at Chelsea

  • by JW

“The judges were captivated by the skill, endeavour and charm of A Rewilding Britain Landscape – every step is exquisite.”


The ‘meadowy’ and ‘shaggy’ look has come to Chelsea:

Biodiverse gardens are nothing new for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. After all, the best way of achieving biodiversity is to fill the garden with a variety of plants of various types, ideally including treesshrubs and ground level ones. This year, though, it’s as if the designers have really let their hair down and have joyfully crammed in thousands of plants into their Show Gardens – in some cases more than 40 individual plants per square metre – giving minimal space to hard landscaping. Block planting has been swapped for meadowy sweeps of relaxed planting spangled with mainly white, pink and blue flowers.

Opinion: RHS Chelsea Flower Show is embracing the shaggy | Gardens Illustrated

And the winners are:

Lulu Urquhart and Adam Hunt’s A Rewilding Britain Landscape garden has won Best Show Garden 2022.
RHS Chair of Judges, James Alexander-Sinclair said of the award winning garden: “It’s exciting to be back at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May, and while all of this year’s gardens are sensational, a few really stood out. It was a hard-fought debate between the members of the judging panel to decide which garden to award Best in Show. In the end, all the judges were captivated by the skill, endeavour and charm of A Rewilding Britain Landscape – every step is exquisite.”

Profile: A Rewilding Britain Landscape’ Garden at Chelsea Flower Show 2022

Which has hit the mainstream press with gusto:

RHS Chelsea Flower Show: top prize goes to ‘rewilding’ garden | Evening Standard

Chelsea Flower Show review: Garden designers have forgotten the flowers | The Telegraph

Rewilding garden evoking beaver wetland wins top prize at Chelsea Flower Show | The Independent

Beaver-themed rewilding garden wins Chelsea flower show top prize | Chelsea flower show | The Guardian

This is from the creators’ own website:

Our garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2022 will showcase, thanks to Project Giving Back, for the first time, how ecosystem engineers, in this case beavers, allow biodiversity to thrive through their astounding manipulation of the landscape.
In support of Rewilding Britain, this garden exemplifies the harmonious coexistence of people and the natural world that the concept of rewilding advances. Featuring a timber track, a wildlife viewing hide, native plant species and a series of beaver dams, the garden portrays a landscape both restored and re-imagined.
Beavers became extinct in the UK 400 years ago, and only in recent years have they been reintroduced back into parts of the country, notably in Exmoor National Park, Dartmoor National Park and east Devon. The inspiration for the garden comes from seeing the incredible abundance, diversity and beauty that comes from the presence of beavers, a mammal once lost to the British landscape and now reintroduced.
Soundscape List PDF
Press Release PDF
Plant List PDF

Urquhart & Hunt — Landscape Design & Ecological Restoration