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Home / Articles

The best sustainable gardens from RHS flower shows 2022

Last updated: 05/08/2022

Most-popular Popular Sustainability

With sustainable gardening becoming increasingly popular. RHS flower shows this year have helped illustrate how planet friendly practices and design can be used to create show stopping gardens that can help fight climate change and increase biodiversity. We have collected our favourite sustainable gardens who have found Creative ways to make their gardens beautiful, biodiversity and sustainable spaces

 

RHS flower shows this year have helped illustrate how planet friendly practices and design can be used to create garden that are both show stopping and help fight climate change and increase biodiversity. We have collected our favourite sustainable gardens who have found creative ways to make their gardens beautiful, biodiversity and sustainable spaces.

 

1. Lynne Lambourne Rethink Garden

 

 

The theme of the garden is rewilding: Nature reclaiming the planet, rewilding what we have destroyed. The garden takes you on a conceptual journey from climate crisis to climate conscious. Focused around reconnecting people with nature and growing wildlife friendly plants encouraging biodiversity. Lynne is a unique designer who works around what she can salvage or find to repurpose, it makes it more challenging but the impact to the planet is minimal and the result is a really unique design. The garden is very naturalistic, using nature friendly plants but also using only salvaged, recycled or repurposed materials. Creating a visually stunning and thought provoking result. 


Designer: Lynne Lambourne
Collaborators: Gardena & ReThink 
Photo Credit: We are the creative & Lynne Lambourne 
Show: RHS Chelsea Flower Show

 

2. The BBC Studios Our Green Planet & RHS Bee Garden

 

 

The garden created a stunning temporary home for pollinators, drawn in to the colourful array of flowers and plants from the RHS 'Plants of Pollinators' list. Shallow water made an ideal drinking-spot for insects, mud aplenty helped bees make nests and a dismantlable bee hotel was featured. The garden was in development for more than two years and will live on after RHS Chelsea at a local school for students, teachers and the pollinators to enjoy


The garden hopes to inspire gardeners to create year-round flowering plants for its 'Plants for Pollinators' list to help tackle the decline in pollinator numbers.  Joe commented that If everyone collectively grew more pollinator plants in gardens, community spaces, window boxes, allotments and schools we can make a huge difference.

Designer: Joe Swift
Partners: BBC Studios, Our Green Planet & RHS
Show: RHS Chelsea Flower Show

 

3. Cloud Gardens Biodiverse Border Garden


Jason Williams won a Silver Medal at RHS Tatton Park. The Petit Nuage Garden shows how urban developments could incorporate a low maintenance colourful border, a residents allotment or even a mixed herb pollinator garden instead of the boring lacklustre planting that we see every day in the city centre. Jason hopes that the garden will encourage more colour into our cities to improve well-being but also to help support biodiversity within the city. Jason hopes that
city councils and urban developers will take note of the message behind the garden & improve their planting throughout our towns and cities

Designer: Jason Williams The Cloud Gardener

Show: RHS Tatton Park Flower Show

 

 

4.  A Rewilding Britain Landscape

 

 
The garden shows a rewilding landscape in South West England, after the reintroduction of a native, keystone species – the beaver. The garden, showcases how rewilding can benefit not just wildlife but also people, has already inspired so many at the show. It quickly became a show favourite with many guests recurring again and again to enjoy the natural sounds and feel of the garden.

The garden utilises natural materials, native plants and trees. Showcasing the beauty of a wild garden. Featuring a brook beneath a glad of native plants and trees. Below is a pool dammed by beavers and a beaver lodge built around a large willow crack willow. An older timber walkway, leads guests across the wetland meadow allowing them to take in the full view from a viewing hide at the side of the pool. The garden is filled with native wildflowers and grass in various planting zones.

Designer: Lulu Urquhart and Adam Hunt
Built by: Landscape Associates
Sponsored by: Rewilding Britain, Project Giving Back
Show: RHS Chelsea Flower Show

 

5. RHS Planet-Friendly Feature Garden

The RHS Planet-Friendly Garden explores innovative solutions for tackling climate change. The garden is centred around balance and yin and yang. A central pathway helps to dissect the space and contoured mounds work to frame the reflective pool at the centre of the garden. The design incorporates resilient and sustainable planting ideas for hot, dry slopes and sunken, wet marginal areas. The garden features Shade-creating trees that give habitats for wildlife and are chosen for their ability to take up and store carbon. Every plant was carefully selected to attract pollinators, increase biodiversity and for their versatility such as flood mitigation and pollution-busting.This special garden is full of take home ideas and demonstrates creative ways to use readily-available and upcycling materials in interesting ways that can easily be recreated at home.


Designed by: Mark Gregory
Built by: Landform
Show: RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival

 

6. Lunch Break Garden

 

The lunch break garden seeks to inspire people to reconnect with nature and foster richer relationships with our green spaces. The garden is a sanctuary from work, a palace to unwind, connect with nature and improve our mental well being. The garden features a vibrant and diverse palette of planting, with eight herbaceous selections. Using plants that are intrinsically strong and tolerant with a long season of interest and many of which are drought tolerant. The designer selected plants that attract pollinators such as bees and other beneficial insects and birds. Featuring a simple seating area that overlooks a reflective water feature. The garden utilises striking purposeful planting, accompanied by the soothing sound of water and wildlife creating an immersive experience of calm and quiet.

Designer: Inspired Earth Design
Built by: Frogheath Landscapes Ltd
Sponsored by: Grayshaw & Yeo Gardening Company
Show: RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival


7. Connected, by EXANTE

 

Connected, by EXANTE is a cool, calm woodland sanctuary. With space among the tranquillity for people to connect inside the natural larger-than-life oak tree stump. The unusual centrepiece has a skylight roof encircled by a vegetated edge. The garden is made entirely of green and recycled materials to encourage biodiversity and improve mental and physical health. Featuring charming duckboards leading in and out, European woodlands and a stunning water feature visible through the window on the back wall. After the show, the Connected, by EXANTE garden will be relocated in its entirety at the University College London Hospital.

Designed by: Taina Suonio
Built by: Nicholsons
Sponsored by: Exante (Xnt) Ltd
Show: RHS Chelsea Flower Show

8. The Cotton Traders Greener Future Garden

 

 

This garden has been created with a nature loving retiring couple living in the city centre in mind. The space is imagined to be the couples outside parking space, which they have transformed into sustainable space for relaxation and pottering. The garden has been planted to be attractive all year around, and to attract wildlife, particularly butterflies. Featuring a small clump of stinging nettles, Urtica dioica, essential food for many caterpillars. All the surfaces are permeable to help with urban water run-off and to prevent urban flooding. There is rainwater capture too via a rain chain into a small pond that may overflow into the two adjacent planting beds. Making it a fantastic example of how to turn any outdoor space you have into your sustainable patch of the countryside.

Designed by: Lynn Cordall
Built by: Mustard Seed
Sponsored by: Cotton TradersLondon Stone
Show: RHS Tatton Park Flower Show

9. Turfed Out Garden

This sustainable garden was designed with owners of their first home who are brand new to gardening in mind.The space explores simple, cost-effective options for low-maintenance gardening. The space is filled with plants to attract a broad range of pollinators. Featuring a traditional herbaceous border and simple gravel garden work together with the emphasis on climate-friendly planting that requires minimal watering. The designer for the most part sticks to a pink and purple colour scheme but’ adds splashes of bright colours to create a stunning overall effect.

Designer: Hamzah-Adam Desai
Built by: Frogheath Landscapes Ltd
Sponsored by: London Stone, Rose & Rust
Show: Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival

 

10. MEDITE SMARTPLY Building the Future

The garden is themed around sustainability and has a feature building at the heart of its construction using MEDITE SMARTPLY sustainable and innovative wood-based panel products to illustrate the future of sustainable landscapes and buildings. It is inspired by natural vertical rock strata and is topped with a green sloping roof. A waterfall cascades over the building to a pool below. Surrounding the timber feature and pool are a selection of damp-loving, rare and wild species of flora. Many of the tree specimens are native to the forests of Ireland. The combination of native and naturalised plants creates an informal textural verdant landscape.

Designer: Sarah Eberle
Built by: Landform Consultants
Sponsored by: MEDITE SMARTPLY
Show: RHS Chelsea Flower Show  

 10. Petrus Community: Journey Home

 

This stunning garden was designed in partnership with the Petrus Community Homelessness Charity. The garden focuses on reconnecting with nature and on activities that support health and wellbeing. It considers green corridors, materials we use and the physical ways we can live in a more sustainable and eco-friendly way. Designed to provoke conversations on therapeutic horticulture and green social prescribing, both of which are available to the people of Rochdale at Petrus’s community allotment, PIER. Co-designed by staff, volunteers and service users, the Petrus garden encourages quiet reflection on what ‘home’ means and the journey to closing your own front door at the end of the day.

Designed by: Rachael Bennion, in partnership with service users and volunteers at homelessness charity Petrus Community
Built by: Service users and supporters of Petrus
Sponsored by: M&Y Maintenance and Construction
Show: RHS Tatton Park Flower Show 

11. The Place2Be Securing Tomorrow Garden

 

The Place2Be Securing Tomorrow Garden is a beautifully planted garden. Offering safe spaces of conversations and relaxation. Plants take centre stage with the trees providing structure, and shrub and herbaceous planting adding texture, interest and pops of colour. Simple hard landscaping adds to the sense of calm, while large stone boulders and sculpted seats provide spaces for children to sit and talk. A child-friendly, tippy-toe path adds interest and fun for the people who’ll use this important space. The garden features a biodiverse range of plants, including native species and pollinator friendly picks. The garden hopes to help facilitate and stimulate conversation in its new home Viking Primary School in west London. Where it will be relocated after the show.

The garden was developed in close consultation with pupils from Viking Primary School in west London. Sponsored by Sarasin & Partners Place2Be Charity, who works in partnership with schools – including Viking Primary – to support children’s emotional wellbeing and address any issues before they become more serious.

Designed by: Jamie Butterworth
Built by: Form Plants, with On The Ground Ltd
Sponsored by: Sarasin & Partners, Place2Be
Show: RHS Chelsea Flower Show

What is Sustainable Gardening?

Sustainable gardening centres around maintaining and designing gardens to perverse natural resources, protecting the environment and preventing ecological damage. It is great to see RHS add eco credentials to the judging criteria to help encourage sustainable garden practices and inspire gardeners to embrace planet friendly practices and help fight the climate and biodiversity crisis through their home gardens. 


Top Tips from RHS 

A few great ways to reduce the carbon impact of your garden are to: Plant trees to act as carbon stores, utilise rainwater for watering your garden, switch to peat-free compost to help protect the ecological valuable peatlands, try home composting and switch to electric power tools. Whilst planting a diverse range of plant species, including a mixture of native, near-native an exotic plants to help increase the biodiversity of your garden and support pollinators.

 

Follow us on Instagram & Pinterest for more gardening new and inspiration. 

 

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