A New Zealand Beach comes to Chelsea

  • 4 June 2021 4:51 pm


A New Zealand Beach comes to Chelsea

New Zealand garden designer, Xanthe White – seen opposite, has been inspired by a beach only 24 kilometres from the centre of Auckland to create a garden at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show. ‘Every New Zealander has their own special beach’, she says, ‘ and there are enough of them to go round. I consider this one of the most beautiful on the west coast and it has been the inspiration for my Chelsea garden’.

She has chosen a naturalistic planting scheme to echo the lush bush clad slopes of the Waitakere Ranges and this will contrast with the modern architectural elements in the design Solid glass water sculptures will create a translucent horizon behind a beach of black sand. There will also be a sculptured silver fern leaf, symbol of peace and welcome, and a limpet shell sculpture will be placed on the beach. The beach is being made of rubber particles specially formulated to look like black sand and it will be flown over from New Zealand with the sculptures and plants.

1,000 plants are coming over from New Zealand in March for the garden. They will be quarantined and grown on for Chelsea at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Wisley garden. A further 2,000 plants are being sourced in the UK.

Tourism New Zealand, sponsors of the garden, first appeared at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2004 and their stunning garden walked away with a Gold Medal – not bad for newcomers.

Not to be outdone by their New Zealand neighbours, the Australian Fleming’s Nurseries will be staging their third superb garden created by one the country’s leading designers. This garden has already appeared at the prestigious Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show where it won a gold medal.

Designed for the Australians’ outdoor lifestyle the garden incorporates a kitchen with a cooker and a spectacular dining table where you can see the water flowing underneath the glass top to cascade into the pond below. A large chimney is a major feature of the garden and stacked firewood adds to the design while being a ready source of fuel for the fireplace.

There is an area for young children with sandpit and blackboard and herbs grow in some of the flowerbeds. The garden is designed for the busy family with little time to garden and all the plants are easy care. Very different to most English gardens, but fascinating to see the ‘Sydney’ style of gardening.