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The Perfume Garden RHS Chelsea Flower Show Read text
The Perfume Garden RHS Chelsea Flower Show View images

Chetwoods’ investments in sustainable design initiatives include the gold-medal winning Perfume Show Garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, inspired by the original recipe for a perfume created for Queen Elizabeth I in the 16th Century.

The 2009 Elizabethan Perfume Garden was sponsored by Chetwoods in partnership with GLP and their consultant team. Designed by Laurie Chetwood and Patrick Collins the garden demonstrated the potential of sustainable design.

Envisioned as a striking spiral form, the swirling garden design was inspired by the pattern of seeds in a sunflower head or the spiralling arrangement of leaves on many plant stems. The planted swirl started low at its extremities, representing the low-lying plants, roots and even fungi used in perfume making.

The perfumery itself was housed in a shroud of stainless steel. Here the intricate design can be read as a metaphor for the flower head – the delicate stamen, stigma and pistil – surrounded by an abstract petal canopy reaching out to entice visitors to step into its shade, see the perfume distillation process and smell samples of the Elizabeth I perfume produced especially for the Chelsea Flower Show.

All materials used were sustainable and from renewable resources with features including rainwater harvesting, a borehole, a wind turbine, and the conversion of daylight to electricity to power the lighting and irrigation.

The judges recognized the exceptional design of the Perfume Garden with an additional rarely presented Most Creative Award.

Key facts
  • Designers: Laurie Chetwood & Patrick Collins
  • Client: RHS Chelsea Flower Show
  • Location: London
  • Value: Confidential
  • Sponsor: GLP
  • Contractor: Willerby Landscapes
  • Awards: RHS Gold Medal