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  • Writer's pictureChris Beardshaw Design

Designing the RNLI Garden for RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2022

Chris and the team at Chris Beardshaw Design are thrilled to be designing and producing the RNLI Garden - to be unveiled at RHS Chelsea Flower Show later this month.

Chris, who has been a lifelong supporter of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, had always hoped to create a showpiece garden for the charity so when it was given the go ahead by Project Giving Back, the unique grant-making scheme that provides funding for gardens for good causes at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, it was as if the stars had aligned.

The garden has been designed to be a quiet celebration of the charity, reflecting the modest, yet calm and confident, volunteer crew that day-in, day-out save lives at sea. Design references and material choices nod to the organisation's historic origins but the deliberate blending with contemporary materials very much aims to reflect the forward-looking approach of the RNLI today. Chris wants the garden experience to feel enveloping and calm with space to appreciate the many shades of green, and the varying textures and forms of a bountiful spring garden. A purbeck pitcher path winds it way up the garden echoing the shape of bow wave created by the RNLI lifeboats as they launch from a slipway into the water, and it leads to a central green oak pavilion featuring turned columns and a contemporary lantern-style light. A recessed seat gives the visitor an uninterrupted view of the garden and a quiet space to reflect. The pavilion is flanked on each side by oak arcades affording some shelter from the outside world whilst still allowing connection and views of the garden.

Further details on the garden trees and plant material will follow, along with details of a very special commission for the project.

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