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500 years of Covent Garden

By garden designer Lee Bestall. Covent Garden is set to be reimagined as a breathtaking Show Garden at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show, bringing a much-loved part of London to the world-renowned event for the first time.

‘500 Years of Covent Garden’ will be designed by award-winning garden designer Lee Bestall to showcase the area’s rich horticultural heritage. The garden celebrates Covent Garden’s early roots as a fruit orchard until the 16th century and later as a flower market, as well as the iconic architecture it is known for today, including the Market Building.

500 years of Covent Garden Designed By garden designer Lee Bestall

The Show Garden is sponsored by Capco, the landowner and steward of Covent Garden, in partnership with the Sir Simon Milton Foundation, the Westminster based charity which champions opportunities for young and old. In celebration of the close long-standing relationship between the partners, the subject matter for the garden was chosen to provide a unique space reflective of the neighbourhood, past and present.

500 years of Covent Garden Designed By garden designer Lee Bestall

The central feature will include a mature, 60 year-old apple tree, harking back not only to the early beginnings of ‘Convent Garden’ as an orchard, belonging to and supplying the monk’s table at Westminster Abbey, but also to the 300 year-old provenance of the neighbourhood as a fruit and flower market. Flowering herbaceous plants will reflect the colours of apple blossom and large steel structures will reflect the distinctive arches of Covent Garden’s Grade II listed Market Building.

500 years of Covent Garden Designed By garden designer Lee Bestall

Reclaimed cobble pathways will guide visitors into the centre of the garden, just as the surrounding streets do into Covent Garden’s Piazza. A central seating area, paved with reclaimed York stone, provides a place to sit and relax, inspired by the social and modern dining environment of the Piazza which, as London’s first public square, was designed to bring people together.

500 years of Covent Garden Designed By garden designer Lee Bestall

Plant list

Perennials

Asplenium scolopendrium
Dryopteris filix-mas
Astrantia major 'Alba'
Asarum europaeum
Ammi majus
Agapanthus 'White Heaven'
Rodgersia aesculifolia
Scabiosa caucasica 'Perfecta Alba'
Scabiosa columbaria subsp. ochroleuca
Hosta plantaginea var. japonica
Hakonechloa macra
Digitalis purpurea 'Dalmatian White' (Dalmatian Series)
Tiarella 'Pink Skyrocket'
Rheum x hybridum 'Grandad's Favorite'
Paeonia 'Starlight'
Lupinus 'Blossom'
Bunium bulbocastanum
Paeonia lactiflora

 

Shrubs

Taxus baccata
Ilex crenata 'Dark Green'

 

Hedging

Carpinus betulus

 

Trees

Malus domestica (any spur-bearing variety)
Pyrus communis (any variety)