Chelsea Flower Show – Garden #9


The Wormcast Garden – Chris Beardshaw (2006)

The beautifully executed Chris Beardshaw Wormcast Garden was inspired by the decadence and grace of the Edwardian era. The garden brings the geometric designs and extravagant water features of Thomas Mawson, heralded ‘the grandfather of landscape architecture’, together with the flowing and floriferous planting style or renowned plantswoman, Gertrude Jekyll.

Restoration is a key focus of the garden. In addition to Chris’ efforts in helping the Boveridge gardeners restore the original site to its former glory, by bringing its re-creation to Chelsea, he is also endeavouring to bring about a re-birth in traditional plantsmanship. Significantly, the restoration is possibly the first truly honest re-creation of a forgotten Jekyll and Mawson garden, accurately sticking to the original planting plans.

Incorporating original items from the 1920’s garden, the exhibit at Chelsea includes an expansive Mawson pond complete with a cherub statue, cast from the original mould, which is surrounded by Miss Jekyll’s favourite delicate water lilies, bred for the occasion from original stock. The graceful lines and herbaceous borders of the garden lead to a classical summer pavilion in which are the very chairs that Mawson sat and contemplated his plans. And this is all contained within 46 metres of Portland stone wall which was carefully dismantled from the original site and exactingly rebuilt for the exhibit.

Again, an exercise in stunning planting by Beardshaw.


Author: Mike the Gardener

Freelance gardening writer, consultant and designer. Mike Palmer is a passionate and professional plantsman, offering services in garden writing, consultancy and garden design. Mike is also available for garden and plant related talks and presentations. Mike has been a professional horticulturalist for over fifteen years.

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