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Show gardens: M&G Garden

The M&G Garden, designed by Charlotte Harris and Hugo Bugg of Harris Bugg Studio, is about transforming neglected, unloved areas into new, tranquil and beautiful green spaces in the places we need them most - our towns and cities.

Chelsea Flower Show 2021: Show gardens: M&G Garden designed by Charlotte Harris and Hugo Bugg of Harris Bugg Studio

The garden is imagined as a peaceful oasis, pocket park-like in its design - a public space for people and wildlife to share and enjoy all the benefits of being in nature. Unusually for Chelsea, it is a shared public garden, imagined in an urban setting - challenging our usual notions of what a garden can be.

Chelsea Flower Show 2021: Show gardens: M&G Garden designed by Charlotte Harris and Hugo Bugg of Harris Bugg Studio


The space provides respite from a hectic, urban world, and brings new life and purpose to a long-neglected corner of a city. The aim is to inspire designers, developers and communities to see how even the most unlikely places can be transformed into welcoming and sustainable green spaces in towns and cities everywhere.

Chelsea Flower Show 2021: Show gardens: M&G Garden designed by Charlotte Harris and Hugo Bugg of Harris Bugg Studio


While the two designers have both won individual gold medals for Main Avenue gardens at Chelsea, this is their first Chelsea show garden together. Described as ‘pioneering design talents of their generation’ by the RHS, Charlotte and Hugo originally designed The M&G Garden prior to the coronavirus pandemic to explore how more shared gardens and green spaces could be injected into our growing towns and cities. Now, following the pandemic, the garden’s potential impact as vital lifeline is even more relevant, fulfilling a profound and innate need to connect with nature as well as providing the many climate, human and biodiversity benefits.

Chelsea Flower Show 2021: Show gardens: M&G Garden designed by Charlotte Harris and Hugo Bugg of Harris Bugg Studio


The M&G Garden features plants and trees chosen for their tolerance to urban climate extremes of wet winters and hot summers. These are interspersed with unusual and delicate planting to inject moments of ephemeral beauty. Structural planting includes the wild and naturalistic shapes and silvery leaves of Hippophae or sea buckthorn; bursts of colour from Nyssa sylvatica, or black gum tree; and the fragrant tubular flowers and red edible berries of Elaeagnus umbellata, or autumn olive. As well as reclaimed materials, tactile natural features provide added connection to the natural world. Water in the form of a naturalistic pool, surrounded by marginal planting, aids run-off and flood prevention and helps encourage and support wildlife.

Chelsea Flower Show 2021: Show gardens: M&G Garden designed by Charlotte Harris and Hugo Bugg of Harris Bugg Studio

Plant list:

 

Asplenium scolopendrium
Kirengeshoma palmata
Actaea simplex Atropurpurea Group
Darmera peltata
Polystichum setiferum
Calamagrostis brachytrich
Hydrangea quercifolia
Eurybia divaricata
Blechnum spicant
Artemisia lactiflora
Gillenia trifoliata
Tulipa sprengeri
Anemone hupehensis 'September Charm'
Adiantum pedatum
Clematis x jouiniana 'Mrs Robert Brydon'
Epimedium x perralchicum 'Frohnleiten'
Bergenia 'Baby Doll'
Helleborus foetidus Wester Flisk Group
Selinum wallichianum
Euphorbia wallichii
Nyssa sylvatica
Ajuga reptans 'Atropurpurea'
Osmunda regalis 'Purpurascens'
Cenolophium denudatum
Blechnum chilense
Iris sibirica 'Persimmon'
Brunnera macrophylla
Disporum longistylum 'Night Heron'
Sporobolus heterolepis
Cardiandra formosana
Hedera helix
Galatella sedifolia 'Nana'
Echinacea pallida
Hedera helix 'Arborescens'
Bergenia ciliata 'Wilton'
Deschampsia cespitosa
Hakonechloa macra
Sesleria autumnalis
Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Cassian's Choice'
Lilium 'Claude Shride'
Bupleurum falcatum
Aruncus 'Horatio'
Vancouveria hexandra
Doodia media
Epimedium wushanense 'Caramel'
Mahonia eurybracteata subsp. ganpinensis 'Soft Caress'
Saxifraga 'Maroon Beauty' (stolonifera)
Beesia calthifolia
Eurybia x herveyi
Osmanthus heterophyllus
Solidago x luteus 'Lemore'
Doellingeria umbellata
Heuchera villosa 'Autumn Bride'
Symphyotrichum cordifolium
Strobilanthes attenuata 'Blue Carpet'
Tulbaghia 'Fairy Star'
Symphyotrichum oblongifolium 'October Skies'
Arctostaphylos edmundsii
Kalimeris incisa 'Charlotte'
Patrinia punctiflora
Blechnum penna-marina subsp. alpinum Paradise Centre form
Hippophae rhamnoides (any variety)
Ligusticum lucidum
Muehlenbeckia axillaris
Persicaria 'Indian Summer'
Aralia cordata