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Brewin Dolphin – Forever Freefolk

The river Test and History of the Huguenots inspire the Brewin Dolphin ‘Forever Freefolk’ Show Garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016

Brewin Dolphin is one of the UK's leading independent providers of personalised, discretionary wealth services. They have been helping clients plan their finances and manage investments for over 250 years. For the fifth year in succession, Brewin Dolphin are sponsoring a garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. The 2016 garden, 'Forever Freefolk', has been designed by multi-award winning nursery woman Rosy Hardy. Inspirations for the garden design have been many and varied, but the chalk streams on the river Test in Hampshire, the Huguenots, who fled persecution from France to England, and the impact that they had on the way in which money is produced in the modern day are all key elements.

Brewin Dolphin – Forever Freefolk  RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016

The Huguenots were French Protestants with origins in the 16th century. The Foreign Protestants Naturalisation Act, of 1708, allowed foreign protestants to migrate and settle in England. An estimated 50,000 fled to England. Huguenots quickly rose to prominence in banking, stock-broking and insurance, together with the trades of printing and paper-making. One Huguenot that was particularly inspirational for Rosy Hardy when designing the Brewin Dolphingarden 2016 was Henri de Portal. Portal was twenty when he settled in Hampshire, where he began working at a paper mill in South Stoneham and quickly became friends with Sir William Heathcote, who gave Portal the lease to Laverstoke Mill. This mill was on the river Test, and would soon become one of the most successful paper mills in the whole of England. This mill happens to be in the same village as Hardy's nursery.

Brewin Dolphin – Forever Freefolk  RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016

The River Test runs 63km long, and is one of the longest and most prominent chalk streams in England. The purity of the water in the Test makes it perfect for paper making, specifically the manufacturing of bank notes. Portal won the contract to make paper for Bank of England notes in 1724. The paper that Portal created was 80 to 90 grams per square metre, manufactured from cotton fibre (sometimes mixed with linen) and impregnated with polyvinyl alcohol or gelatine to give it extra strength.

Brewin Dolphin – Forever Freefolk  RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016

Portal also invented the metallic thread incorporated into the paper (the dotted line called ‘windowed thread'), which continues to be used to this day. There are around 200 chalk streams in the world under threat from pollution and climate change; 160 of these are in England, one of them being the river Test. Visitors to the garden are invited to consider the fragility of chalk streams, a rare and vital natural resource and the importance of protecting them for future generations. Brewin Dolphin has a similar responsibility to strengthen, grow and protect their client's investments.

Brewin Dolphin – Forever Freefolk  RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016

Plant List: 
Alchemilla mollis
Anchusa azurea 'Loddon Royalist'
Asphodeline lutea
Ballota pseudodictamnus
Briza maxima
Caltha palustris
Stipa gigantea
Stipa tenuissima
Tiarella cordifolia
Thymus vulgaris
Myrrhis odorata
Pulsatilla vulgaris
Achillea 'Moonshine'
Ajuga reptans 'Burgundy Glow'
Ajuga reptans 'Catlin's Giant'
Centranthus ruber 'Albus'
Euphorbia amygdaloides var robbiae
Erigeron karvinskianus
Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster'
Baptisia australis
Cirsium rivulare 'Atropurpureum'
Geranium macrorrhizum 'Ingwersen's Variety'
Acer campestre
Salvia x sylvestris 'Mainacht'
Primula japonica 'Miller's Crimson'
Verbascum (Cotswold Group) 'Gainsborough'
Myosotis scorpioides
Tellima grandiflora
Potentilla x tonguei
Euphorbia palustris
Saxifraga 'Lutea' (paniculata)
Saxifraga Southside Seedling Group
Polemonium 'Lambrook Mauve'
Alchemilla erythropoda
Galium odoratum
Hakonechloa macra 'Alboaurea'
Salix lanata
Luzula nivea
Lilium martagon
Dicentra 'Stuart Boothman'
Persicaria bistorta 'Superba'
Euphorbia cyparissias 'Fen's Ruby'
Eryngium variifolium
Geranium phaeum 'Samobor'
Lychnis flos-cuculi
Sanguisorba menziesii
Aquilegia vulgaris var. stellata 'Ruby Port'
Geranium sanguineum var. striatum
Hosta 'Blue Cadet'
Primula bulleyana
Trachystemon orientalis
Geranium 'Brookside'
Lupinus 'Polar Princess'
Allium stipitatum 'Mount Everest'
Achillea 'Anthea'
Gypsophila 'Rosenschleier'
Geranium phaeum 'Album'
Anthriscus sylvestris 'Ravenswing'
Penstemon heterophyllus 'Catherine de la Mare'
Artemisia lactiflora Guizhou Group
Astrantia major 'Roma'
Campanula 'Elizabeth'
Digitalis purpurea Camelot Series
Helictotrichon sempervirens
Phlox divaricata 'May Breeze'
Rheum 'Ace of Hearts'
Silene fimbriata
Plantago major 'Rubrifolia'
Salvia nemorosa 'Caradonna'
Aquilegia chrysantha 'Yellow Queen'
Polemonium yezoense var. hidakanum 'Purple Rain'
Stachys byzantina 'Silver Carpet'
Campanula poscharskyana
Crambe maritima
Astrantia maxima
Filipendula ulmaria
Disporopsis pernyi
Campanula carpatica 'Samantha'
Lunaria annua
Primula beesiana
Chaerophyllum hirsutum 'Roseum'
Centranthus ruber var coccineus
Lamium maculatum 'Beacon Silver'
Tellima grandiflora Rubra Group