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for the glowing review! "Go ask Alice ... where all the best vineyard gardens are. She's an erudite charmer; you'll have fun!"

Culinary Gardens

Horizontal Meets Vertical: B&Q Edible Garden at Chelsea 2011

An ambitious design emphasizing edible gardening and sustainability set apart the B&Q Garden at the 2011 Chelsea Flower Show

Chelsea B&Q Garden near and far Photo © Alice Joyce

Designed by Laurie Chetwood and Patrick Collins and winner of Gold, the garden boasted the tallest form to appear at Chelsea: A 27-foot high tower representing one of the garden’s 5 demonstration zones, with plants comprising edible selections – either entirely so, or species chosen for their edible stems, roots, leafs, buds or fruit.

Chelsea B&Q Garden Photo © Alice Joyce-2

The tower’s vertical surface displayed an alluring pattern in hues from chartreuse to mossy to pea green, complemented by colorful blooms as accents cascading from balconies. The horizontal plane came alive with beds of delectable leafy vegetables, fragrant herbs and roses.

Chelsea B&Q Garden Overview Photo © Alice Joyce

The garden includes Insect Hotels of recycled materials, created by young people from UK Youth.

B&Q Garden insect hotels / Allée of lime trees - Photo © Alice Joyce

Allée of lime trees yielding flowers that can be used to make tea.

Chelsea B&Q Garden lime trees and veg plots Photo © Alice Joyce

Zone 3: A rain harvesting system with water butt and water tower to provide water year-round.

Chelsea B&Q Garden Rain Harvesting Photo © Alice Joyce

Chelsea-goers new to the idea of edible, sustainable gardens, and for all of us who long ago caught the Grow Your Own wave, the B&G garden’s bounty presented pleasing juxtapositions, bringing to the fore wild strawberries and borage, chamomile and chives, rosemary and pinks, violets and lavender, together with a trove of veggies and those inventive insect hotels. An all-round delight for beneficial insects, birds and London wildlife. As an educational model, the garden presented plenty of ideas to mull over.

2 comments to B&Q Chelsea 2011: Horizontal Meets Vertical Gardening

  • Very cool. I wish Toronto’s climate were more amenable to green walls like these. And the water tower looks just like something I’d wanted to include in a design for a school project this spring — it was a bit of a thrill to see.

  • It would be great if B and Q did mini versions of this for home gardens? I’d definitely get one.