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The 2014 Champagne Laurent-Perrier RHS Chelsea Flower Show Garden

The darling bud of May

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show will soon be upon us (20-24 May) and the Laurent-Perrier Show Garden is quickly taking shape.  As the excitement builds find out here what you can expect to see at this year’s Laurent-Perrier Show Garden.

First we talk with garden designer Luciano Giubbilei about his thoughts on developing a garden for Chelsea, and hear from American artist Ursula von Rydingsvard on her sculptural submission for the space.

A Collaborative Platform


The design of the garden

The garden is a layered space, intended to stimulate the enjoyment of observation and contemplation by visitors to the show.

The tranquility of the design composition, with its simple geometric layout, is juxtaposed with detailing which explores the contrasting concepts of stillness and movement, and elegance and rawness.

The walls of concrete and metal combine lustres and materials; the stone surfaces are executed with contrasting finishes; the flow and reflection of the water gives light and animation to the space.

The planting features delicate forms alongside bolder architectural leaves – providing a colour spectrum of yellows, creams and whites, punctuated by accents of blue, with a backdrop of deep green foliage.

Sculpture in the garden

A strong wooden sculpture designed by highly acclaimed American artist Ursula von Rydingsvard will contribute to the garden’s exploration of texture. Constructed in meticulously assembled layers of cedar, the inclusion of this expressive piece will commence a partnership between Laurent-Perrier and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP). YSP is the leading international centre for modern and contemporary sculpture, and will host von Rydingsvard’s most extensive exhibition to date and first ever large-scale survey in the UK which opened in April 2014.

Luciano describes the process of designing a Show Garden

The design work for Chelsea starts months – and sometimes years ahead of time. My first garden was exhibited in 2009 and was 12 years in planning. I suspect most designers aren’t working that far ahead though! Certainly for the large show gardens – such as the Laurent-Perrier Garden – designers are thinking about and developing design concepts and having conversations a year in advance at the very least.

There’s then the development of concepts into a masterplan and relevant drawings and schedules – from sections, elevations and 3D illustrations, to complex detailing and planting. Following that is working closely with specialist contractors and nurseries; selecting, prototyping and refining every element of the garden.

Nothing is left to chance. I need to know that in those compressed two to three weeks of the build that we are permitted by the RHS we can do the equivalent of make a garden that in real life might take three-six months. Much is pre-cast off-site so that we can be really ready; in fact, more than ready. Every element must be perfect. The garden must feel like it has always been there. The materials have to be immaculately laid and every plant must flower together in an orchestral movement.