Boodles ‘Best of British’ Garden – RHS Chelsea 2023
The Boodles ‘Best of British’ Garden was a celebration of British craftsmanship; the very best British craftspeople worked with Tom to create the garden on the premise that craftsmanship is the refinement and stylisation of Mother Nature. Inspired by the Pre-Raphaelite’s stylised depiction of woodlands, Tom designed a woodland glade garden filled with plants selected for their perfected forms for Chelsea 2023.
An arbour created by Cox London is the destination within the garden and mimics the woodland surroundings in the form of intricate leafy tiles and branchlike framework. A steel 3m circular mesh frame is patinated to be bronze-like in appearance. It was partially clad in leaf-like tiles as a canopy. The support is Cox London’s signature branch-like framework, as though the branches are holding up the leaves. Curated by top interior designer Rachel Chudley, woodland inspired furnishings adorn within using the very best craftspeople. Jake Catling of The Landscaping Consultants worked his stonemasonry magic in creating rustic yet refined paths and terrace using the highly fossilised Chatsworth stone.
A floating pool ripples as if raindrops are falling, made from mild steel this giant (3m x 2m) saucer will brim with water to create a mirror effect. Bamber Wallis ingeniously created 150 hydraulic pressure points that create the effect of rainfall. Beginning with occasional droplets and building up to the crescendo of a downpour.
Selected, refined and stylised forms of plants were chosen to plant the garden reinforcing the theme that Mother Nature conjures up miracles of crafted beauty in the natural world. For example, the highly intricate feathery form of Alnus Imperialis and the weeping habit of Betula pendula. The flowering rambling rose ‘Paul’s Himalayan Musk’ rambles over the arbour whilst coloured forms of grasses, sedges and perennials surround the pool.
“It is always a delight for me to design a garden for Chelsea and an honour to work with a host of the country’s best craftspeople. We have the very best artisans and materials right here in the UK, and we designers should be embracing these valuable resources in the creation of something truly unique rather than the usual homogenised designs we see time and time again. I hope this garden highlights and celebrates the enormous British talent that comes together to create the unique and spectacular” – Tom Hoblyn
This was Tom’s third RHS Chelsea garden sponsored by Boodles