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Royal Bank of Canada Garden

Matthew Wilson is partnering with Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), to design the “Royal Bank of Canada Garden”. The sustainable garden highlights practical urban water management, including water saving and harvesting solutions for home gardeners.

This is in keeping with the goals of the RBC Blue Water Project - a wide-ranging, 10-year global commitment to help protect the world’s fresh water resources. 

Royal Bank of Canada Garden

Drawing inspiration from Mediterranean gardens, the design is divided into three main parts: a zero irrigation ‘dry garden’, a central water harvesting and storage zone, and an edible garden. The garden is designed to be easy to live with and demonstrate that plants do not require artificial irrigation if chosen and placed correctly.

Royal Bank of Canada Garden

“Throughout the garden, I’ve chosen plants for their ability to withstand drought conditions, reducing the need for irrigation. I am especially excited for the garden to showcase a ‘macro bonsai’ olive tree, a first for the show,” continued Mr. Wilson. “Drawing on the growing trend of urban farming, there will be also be a range of fruits, vegetables and herbs that are edible and sustainable.”

Royal Bank of Canada Garden

At the heart of the design, visitors can explore the space on a sustainable wood ‘floating’ terrace, which conceals a large storm water storage tank that helps maintain water levels in the garden’s water features and flood basin. At full capacity, this flood basin creates a simple water feature. However, as water levels drop, a beautiful carved stone feature symbolising the fragility of river ecosystems is revealed and eventually fades to a dry riverbed.

Royal Bank of Canada Garden

Plant list


- Arbutus undeo
- Olea europea (macro bonsai form)
- Punica granatum
- Quercus suber


- Acca sellowiana
- Artemesia arborescens
- Cistus Silver Pink
- Eleagnus ‘Quicksilver
- Euphorbia mellifera
- Hoheria Borde Hill
- Leptospermum scoparium ‘Red Damask'
- Ozothamnus rosmarinifolius Silver Jubilee
- Perovskia Blue Spire
- Rosa glauca syn rubrifolia
- Rosmarinus officianalis
- Santolina chamaecyparissus
- Vitis vinifera
- Calamagrostis x acutiflora Karl Foerster
- Deschampsia in variety
- Festuca Elijah Blue
- Helictotrichon sempervirens
- Stipa gigantean
- Stipa tenuissima
- Stipa trichotoma


- Allium in variety
- Ammi majus
- Anchusa azurea Loddon Royalist
- Anethum graveolens
- Apium graveolens var dulce
- Bergenia ciliata
- Brassica juncea
- Brassica rapa var. nipposinica
- Chicorium endiva
- Choy Sun
- Crambe maritima
- Cynara cadunculus scolymus
- Diascia personata
- Dryopteris erythrosora
- Eremurus in variety
- Eruca sativa
- Eryngium in variety
- Eschscholzia californica
- Euphorbia cyparissias Fens Ruby
- Foeniculum vulgare
- Geranium sanguineum striatum
- Glaucium flavum
- Helleborus argutifolius
- Helleborus foetidus
- Iris bearded and intermediate
- Jasione laevis ‘Bleuleicht’
- Lactuca sativa
- Malvastrum lateritum
- Mentha variety
- Nigella damascena
- Oreganum laevigatum Herrenhausen
- Orlaya grandiflora
- Pak Choy
- Papaver rupifragum
- Perilla frutescens
- Phlomis italica