In celebration of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show’s centenary, ‘The M&G Centenary Garden’ story in 2013 is aptly entitled ‘Windows through Time’ and captures the design trends and themes of RHS Chelsea Flower Shows past and present. Designed by award-winning RHS Chelsea stalwart Roger Platts, the show’s fourth title sponsor’s garden is a showcase of how British garden design has evolved whilst reflecting many recurring themes that have stood the test of time. This timeless approach reflects M&G Investments’ own approach to investments.
Roger Platts’ design embraces both new and traditional garden features; from modern sculpture to planting threaded with historical shrubs popular in the 1900s.
A contemporary sculpture window in one corner of the plot frames the garden for visitors, but also gives the impression of looking back at a century old RHS Chelsea garden. Gazing through the window, visitors’ eyes will be drawn to a traditional sandstone and brick wall at the far end of the garden; broken only by a mullioned window and cast iron gate.
Upholding the theme ‘Windows through Time’, a small pool positioned in front of the wall is surrounded by a selection of damp and shade-loving plants, including ferns, foxgloves, acers and irises; water and rock have been popular elements at RHS Chelsea over the past hundred years. The wall’s cast iron gate will lead the eye through to another selection of historical planting inspired by the 1900s, using holly, laurel and rhododendron.
A brick wall and hedge, running along the longer edge of the garden, contains a kissing gate, leading to an imaginary orchard. To the side is a log pile, which reflects today’s consideration for wildlife and is surrounded by grass and wildflowers, as well as more formal planting, to celebrate current garden styles. A structure of evergreens will also run through the garden including Myrtles, Buxus and Cistus.
The centre of the garden reflects on timeless design classics and integrates paths of paved sandstone that thread through beds of roses and perennial flowers. A central sandstone terrace displays an oak summer house with a conical thatched roof.
Watch exclusive behind-the-scenes videos from Roger of the build-up to the show