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The David Harber and Savills Garden

By landscape and garden designer Nic Howard. The collaborative show garden is designed to provoke reflection on mankind’s changing interaction with the environment through time.

The David Harber and Savills Garden Chelsea Flower Show 2018 landscape and garden designer Nic Howard

Visitors travel through a physical manifestation of evolution, with clearly defined stages of planting and sculpture that serve to reflect varying time periods – from the bronze age to the present day. This narrative is designed to reference the impact that mankind is having on the environment.

The David Harber and Savills Garden Chelsea Flower Show 2018 landscape and garden designer Nic Howard

The showcase will offer a ‘wormhole’ view through the ages, culminating with a view of the main sculptural piece, the ‘Aeon’ by David Harber, which represents a timeless, ‘vital force’.

The David Harber and Savills Garden Chelsea Flower Show 2018 landscape and garden designer Nic Howard

As visitors wander through the immersive garden, they will move from the freeform and naturalistic planting and artworks that reflect the life of early man, to a more formal and controlled environment. The only abiding constant is the Aeon.

Made from bronze with a gold-plated starburst/iris-effect centre, the Aeon will sit in front of a three-metre tall Design Clad Porcelain wall from London Stone, which represents the infinite universe.

The David Harber and Savills Garden Chelsea Flower Show 2018 landscape and garden designer Nic Howard

Visitors start their journey through the garden at ‘Stage 0 – Creation’: the planting is wild and the sculptural piece, the Coluna, symbolises organic evolution from Mother Earth. Made from oxidized steel, the Coluna’s form reflects our DNA. This is followed by three stages of intricate screens: First, visitors will travel through ‘Stage 1 – Enclosure’ which reflects man’s first attempts to enclose and control his immediate environment. ‘Stage 2 – Refinement’ sees a screen that communicates man’s emerging appreciation for aesthetics. The screen for Stage 3 boasts a crisp, Stage 0 – Creation geometric pattern that reveals a flaw within, which further stands to symbolise the negative impact man has had on the environment and the planet's equilibrium.

The David Harber and Savills Garden Chelsea Flower Show 2018 landscape and garden designer Nic Howard

Finally, before visitors reach the Aeon, they are offered a moment for ‘Contemplation & Reflection’.‘Contemplation’ is a bench that references the helix and DNA, and provides a quiet place to sit and muse. ‘Reflection’, a water feature, provides a calming focal point and serves as a reminder of the elemental forces of nature.

Plant list

Allium cristophii
Anchusa azurea 'Loddon Royalist'
Aquilegia vulgaris var. stellata 'Nora Barlow' (Barlow Series)
Asplenium scolopendrium
Dryopteris affinis
Geranium himalayense 'Gravetye'
Stipa gigantea
Stipa tenuissima
Stachys byzantina 'Big Ears'
Rheum palmatum 'Atrosanguineum'
Allium hollandicum 'Purple Sensation'
Actaea 'White Pearl'
Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster'
Digitalis purpurea 'Sutton's Apricot'
Cirsium rivulare 'Atropurpureum'
Hosta 'Sum and Substance'
Artemisia ludoviciana 'Silver Queen'
Syringa pubescens subsp. microphylla 'Superba'
Primula japonica 'Miller's Crimson'
Tellima grandiflora
Euonymus europaeus
Knautia macedonica
Astrantia major 'Claret'
Geranium macrorrhizum 'Spessart'
Nepeta racemosa 'Walker's Low'
Euphorbia lathyris
Anthriscus sylvestris 'Ravenswing'
Euphorbia cyparissias
Salvia nemorosa 'Caradonna'
Betula nigra
Trifolium repens 'Purpurascens Quadrifolium'
Cenolophium denudatum
Paeonia 'Buckeye Belle'
Nectaroscordum siculum
X Heucherella 'Kimono'
Aquilegia vulgaris var. stellata 'Blue Barlow' (Barlow Series)
Briza media
Sesleria nitida
Geum 'Mai Tai'
Lychnis flos-cuculi 'White Robin'
Paeonia lactiflora 'Inspecteur Lavergne'
Viola 'Coeur d'Alsace'
Hakonechloa macra
Sesleria caerulea
Paeonia lactiflora 'Kansas'
Thalictrum 'Elin'
Dianthus cruentus
Geum 'Totally Tangerine'
Physocarpus opufolius 'Amber Jubilee'
Centaurea montana 'Black Sprite'
Salvia 'Wendy's Wish'
Nepeta grandiflora 'Summer Magic'
Lupinus 'Persian Slipper'
Nepeta 'Junior Walker'