The Guangzhou China: Guangzhou Garden has won Best Show Garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2021.
Awarded a Gold medal and now the most coveted award of the show, Guangzhou China: Guangzhou Garden was designed by first-time designers, Peter Chmiel and Chin-Jung Chen.
So why did it win? James Alexander-Sinclair, RHS Chair of Judge, explains: 'The Guangzhou China: Guangzhou Garden is a garden that has real heart and soul to it. The combination of tall airy spaces, babbling waters and layers of cool green plantings cannot fail but to soothe even the most harried soul.'
Throughout the garden you'll see characterful trees (dawn redwood, scots pine, field maple and birch), sedges, euphorbia and ferns forming a green carpet, plus five structures made of laminated moso bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis); a fast-growing, sustainably sourced bamboo that is easier to recycle than typical construction materials.
There's also stepping stones and wetlands planted with aquatic plants to improve water quality, including water forget-me-not, irises, scouring rush and floating plants.
Peter, director at Grant Associates, and Chin-Jung, senior associate at the practice, designed this Chinese-inspired garden to pay homage to Guangzhou's philosophy which gives equal consideration to the needs of people and wildlife through sustainable city planning strategies, reconnecting people and nature in a mutually beneficial relationship.
Taking inspiration from Guangzhou, a port city northwest of Hong Kong on China's Pearl River, the Guangzhou Garden is inspired by three zones – lungs, heart, kidneys – all of which are visually united by an elegant, graceful drifting wave of green foliage plants.
Designers Peter Chmiel and Chin-Jung comment: 'This is our first time at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and we are absolutely thrilled to have received a Gold Medal, but then to have the super surprise of winning Best in Show, we are so delighted. It's been a wonderful experience. Thank you to Guangzhou Government for giving us this opportunity to represent the city.'
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