RHS Chelsea 2019: Eberle’s Resilience Garden
Sarah Eberle focuses on climate change for her show garden
Having won more RHS Chelsea Flower Show medals than any other designer in history, Sarah Eberle FSGD is hoping to pick up another Gold with a show garden on Main Avenue for The Forestry Commission, William Robinson Gravetye Charity, Kingscote Estate and other partners.
Designed to mark the centenary of the Forestry Commission, The Resilience Garden addresses the challenges posed by climate change and the pests and diseases that threaten our forests today and in the future. The garden features a broad range of trees, reflecting the need to introduce greater diversity and thereby create more resilient forests. In particular, Eberle has selected species that thrive in habitats affected by climate change, such as the hardy evergreen monkey puzzle (Araucaria araucana) and ancient ginkgo.
The garden also uses natural materials, including boulders, stone and gravel, to reflect its rural setting. Water collected from the rear of the garden is distributed to create a variety of habitats, including arid, damp, and well-drained meadow areas. At the centre of the garden, a giant grain silo overlooks the different environments below.
Most of the plants for the garden have been sourced in the UK, with the remainder from approved European nurseries. Eberle wants to educate gardeners, nurseries and the wider public to ensure their plants will not pose a threat when they reach their destinations. “When sourcing and transporting plants, it’s essential to follow the best possible biosecurity protocols, such as holding plants in quarantine for three months, and that’s the message I hope to communicate through the garden,” she says.