RHS Chelsea 2017: Tracy Foster’s Welcome to Yorkshire Garden

Designer Foster brings a Yorkshire beach to Main Avenue at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 

Tracy Foster MSGD is creating the Welcome to Yorkshire Garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, celebrating the county’s coast. Inspired by Yorkshire’s shorelines, the garden also references the county’s buildings and agricultural heritage. The garden will be built by Landform Consultants and is sponsored by Welcome to Yorkshire.

Features will include the ruins of an abbey, and representations of the chalk cliffs, a beach and the sea. Foster has sourced as many materials as possible from Yorkshire, including the stone used to build the ruin.

Up to two tons of chalk pebbles are also being transported to London from South Landing beach for the garden, many of which were collected by primary school children. Permission was granted for Foster to ‘borrow’ the pebbles, which will be returned after the show.

“There have been a few unusual things to resolve for this garden,” explains Foster, “such as how to keep the seaweed we are featuring alive.” She has also had to put a lot of thought into how to recreate the motion of the sea. “Our solution is a remarkably simple concept of displacing water gently, but the actual mechanism for this has proved challenging to create,” she says.