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RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2012 | by Karen Roe
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RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2012

The Westland Magical Garden


Sponsored by Westland Horticulture

Silver Gilt medal winner

Designed by Diarmuid Gavin

Built by Dermot Kerins & Gerry Conneely


The Westland Magical Garden is a retreat for garden lovers, a green plot in the city for planting fruit, vegetables, shrubs, herbaceous perennials and seasonal flowers in containers. The garden is pyramid-shaped and comprises seven terraces of planting at different levels.


Trees (including birch trees) grow upright in multi-level planting boxes linking the terraces together, alongside trailing climbers that have been released from their trellis and bamboo canes.


The ground-level section is a shaded garden with formal, elegant planting including ferns, hostas and clipped Buxus sempervirens in terracotta urns. A staircase and elevator provide transport to the higher terraces, while a stainless tubular slide offers the opportunity of a rapid and adventurous descent.


The design is enhanced by a series of garden buildings, from humble sheds to greenhouses.


Access is by a central lift manned by a bellboy kitted out '1920s New York Style'.

Level 1 - 16 x 16m plot with ferns, hostas, astilbes, ivy and clipped common box. Plants include bamboo, Epimedium and Hosta.

Level 2 - Japanese pavilion with dwarf pines, Japanese maples and bamboo. Plants include Buxus and Betula nigra.

Level 3 - Plants include Rhyncospermum jasminoides and Amelanchiers.

Level 4 - Victorian greenhouse, outdoor dining room and outdoor kitchen. Plants include a variety of vegetables.

Level 5 - A shower and bath, complete with solar-powered hot water. Shade provided by a cabbage tree and Chinese windmill palm. It has a tubular slide that brings you back to earth in 20 seconds. Plants include Water Lilies.

Level 6 - 'Bohemia at its best' - a place to chill, complete with colourful hammocks. Plants include Betulia albosinensis.

Level 7 - Plants include Wallichiana pines and Alchemilla mollis.


The Chelsea Flower Show has been held in the grounds of the Chelsea Hospital every year since 1913, apart from gaps during the two World Wars.

It used to be Britain’s largest flower show (it has now been overtaken by Hampton Court), but is still the most prestigious. From the beginning it has contained both nursery exhibits and model gardens. Every year there have been exhibits from foreign countries as well as from Britain.

It is the flower show most associated with the Royal family, who attend the opening day every year.


Whatever you love about gardening, there’s something for you at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

‘Fresh’ is a brand new area that includes modern, inventive gardens with new design ideas, along with tradestands offering ingenious new products.

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Taken on May 25, 2012