• 4 June 2021 4:55 pm


The Telegraph Garden for the 2011 RHS Chelsea Flower Show will be designed by renowned garden designer Cleve West. This will be Cleve West’s fourth show garden at Chelsea Flower Show, where he has previously won two RHS Gold medals (2006 & 2008) and the coveted RHS/BBC People’s Choice Award for his 2008 design.

For the last two consecutive years (2009 & 2010) The Telegraph’s garden has been awarded the top prize of Best in Show by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) judges.

The design for this year’s garden is loosely inspired by a visit Cleve made to the Roman ruins at Ptolemais, Libya, several years ago which planted the seed in his mind to create a contemporary, sunken garden for The Telegraph.

The garden explores how juxtaposing traditional and contemporary elements can bring a sense of permanence to a garden.

Key features include a novel sunken space, using reclaimed Cotswold stone for paving and walls, beautiful trees (Sophora japonica), and stunning contemporary sculpture.

Water flowing from pipes in the boundary wall brings sound to the garden, as well as shadow and reflected sunlight. Retaining drystone walls and worn cobbles provide an attractive foil for plants, while sculpted columns offer a contemporary note with classical overtones.

The sunken space within the garden accentuates the height of the surrounding planting and, in turn, the intimacy of the garden. Structural yew and box offer familiar structure and a foil for looser plant associations, while self-seeders and colonisers suggest that parts of the garden will shift and change in time, albeit within a rigid framework.

Cleve West said: “I feel extremely privileged to have been chosen by The Telegraph for this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show and I’m looking forward to creating a beautiful garden for them. I’m particularly excited about using contemporary sculpture in what some might see as a traditional setting. Used well, divergent elements can bring an interesting energy to any garden.”

Joanna Fortnam, Gardening Editor, The Daily Telegraph said: “Cleve is renowned for his originality as a designer – he always comes up with an individual take on a timeless theme. I’m expecting his garden for The Telegraph to be full of surprises and very beautiful.”

The Telegraph Garden will once again occupy a prime site on the Main Avenue at the 2011 RHS Chelsea Flower Show.