RHS Chelsea 2019: Gould’s Greenfingers Garden
Kate Gould is going for Gold with her first Main Avenue Show Garden
Best known for her Gold-winning Chelsea gardens for smaller spaces, Kate Gould MSGD is this year embarking on her first show garden on Main Avenue with a leafy design set on two levels. A celebration of Greenfingers’ 20th anniversary, her brief was to create a beautiful garden that would highlight the therapeutic benefits of the outside spaces created by the charity at hospices for life-limited children.
Her lush split-level garden is designed to provide a peaceful, interactive and uplifting space where life-limited children with complex needs, their families, friends and carers can come together. Although not deliberately designed for play, the garden is a space where families can spend time together in a safe environment.
It is made accessible for the children with an innovative water-powered lift connecting the two levels and sloped walkways. A central feature is a large water wall made up of a series of hands, some of which move so they appear to be waving to the children. Seating areas provide places to rest and take in the atmosphere.
The planting delivers a tropical feel, with tree ferns, tender plant Aspidistra elatior and hostas creating a textured backdrop to yellow and white lupins and the elegant Anemone ‘Wild Swan’. Pride of place is a brand-new plant, Choisya ‘Greenfingers’, bred by Peter Catt of Liss Forest Nurseries, sales of which generate income for the charity. On the upper level, Gould is using trees that withstand sun and wind, including Amelanchier canadensis.