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Show gardens: The Yeo Valley Organic Garden

The Yeo Valley Organic Garden highlights the importance of looking after nature and the health of our soil. Designed by award-winning garden designer, Tom Massey, and supported by Yeo Valley Organic’s Sarah Mead, it is inspired by Yeo Valley’s family-owned, organically certified farm and 6.5 acre garden at Blagdon, Somerset.

Chelsea Flower Show: Show gardens: The Yeo Valley Organic Garden by designer Tom Massey

It shows how choosing organic and taking small steps to work with nature, makes a positive impact on wildlife and plant biodiversity. Mirroring the diversity of life found on Yeo Valley’s organic dairy farm and garden in Somerset, the garden features a range of habitats and plants to encourage wildlife and support pollinators. It offers plenty of ideas on how gardeners can give nature a helping hand in their own gardens. 

Chelsea Flower Show: Show gardens: The Yeo Valley Organic Garden by designer Tom Massey

The team also want to shine a light on the importance of soil health – something that is often overlooked - and the role this plays in tackling climate change and global biodiversity collapse.

Chelsea Flower Show: Show gardens: The Yeo Valley Organic Garden by designer Tom Massey

The design also features charred logs (which will become biochar after the show) used as garden markers and rammed earth walls as boundaries, both highlighting the importance of soil health to our changing world. A steam-bent egg-shaped wooden hide, designed and created by celebrated Cornish sculptor Tom Raffield, provides a focal point and an elevated place to observe the garden and the wildlife it supports.

Chelsea Flower Show: Show gardens: The Yeo Valley Organic Garden by designer Tom Massey

The planting plan has been modified to suit the later season. The result is a rich tapestry of late summer perennials such as dahlias, heleniums and rudbeckia; a gauzy haze of ornamental grasses; and trees and shrubs in full fruit such as medlar and rose.

This is first organic show garden approved by the Soil Association. The use of biochar locks additional carbon into the soil and its beneficial qualities demonstrate the importance of soil health. Healthy soil is important to all our futures, especially as we tackle global pandemics, a changing climate and biodiversity decline.

Plant list:

GRASSES

Miscanthus sinensis 'Gracillimus'
Calamagrostis brachytrich
Miscanthus sinensis 'Morning Light'
Anemanthele lessoniana
Molinia caerulea subsp. caerulea 'Heidebraut'
Miscanthus sinensis 'Kleine Silberspinne'
Molinia caerulea subsp. caerulea 'Moorhexe'
Deschampsia cespitosa
Hakonechloa macra
Sesleria autumnalis

HERBACEOUS PERENNIALS

Ceratostigma willmottianum
Darmera peltata
Helenium 'Moerheim Beauty'
Phlomis russeliana
Brunnera macrophylla 'Jack Frost'
Gaura lindheimeri 'Siskiyou Pink'
Geranium 'Rozanne'
Kniphofia 'Tawny King'
Astrantia 'Roma'
Gaura lindheimeri 'Whirling Butterflies'
Hosta 'Devon Green'
Crocosmia 'Hellfire'
Kniphofia 'Percy's Pride'
Rudbeckia occidentalis 'Green Wizard'
Persicaria amplexicaulis 'Rosea'
Crocosmia 'Fire King'
Salvia 'Amistad'
Persicaria amplexicaulis 'Blackfield'
Helenium 'Waltraut'
Verbena hastata f. rosea
Amsonia orientalis
Salvia 'Nachtvlinder'
Astrantia 'Hadspen Blood'
Rudbeckia triloba 'Prairie Glow'
Crocosmia 'Orange Pekoe'
Helenium 'El Dorado'
Pulmonaria 'Roy Davidson'
Eupatorium maculatum 'Snowball'

WOODLAND PERENNIALS

Asplenium scolopendrium
Euphorbia amygdaloides var. robbiae
Dryopteris filix-mas
Eurybia divaricata
Matteuccia struthiopteris
Selinum wallichianum
Disporum longistylum 'Night Heron'
Liriope muscari 'Monroe White'
Carex divulsa
Aralia cordata

TREES & SHRUBS

Salix alba var. vitellina 'Britzensis'
Mespilus germanica
Parrotia persica
Acer campestre
Betula pendula
Cornus sanguinea
Corylus avellana
Rosa canina
Rosa rugosa 'Alba'
Crataegus monogyna
Salix alba
Crataegus persimilis 'Prunifolia'

ANNUALS, BIENNIALS, BULBS, FERNS & OTHER PLANTS

Osmunda regalis
Soleirolia soleirolii
Juncus effusus f. spiralis
Cardiocrinum giganteum
Dahlia merckii
Lilium wallichianum
Humulus lupulus 'Centennial'