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The Meta Garden: Growing the Future Garden

Inspired by the mission to support British woodlands and forests for future generations, the garden has been designed to highlight the crucial relationship between soil, fungi and plants, which together form the basis of resilient forest ecosystems.

The Meta Garden: Growing the Future by garden designer Joe Perkins for the Chelsea Flower Show 2022

The Meta Garden: Growing the Future is being supported by the National Forest, which will rehome the garden after the Chelsea Flower Show as part of The Queen’s Green Canopy campaign, focused on planting trees to celebrate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.  Inspired by the mission to support British woodlands and forests for future generations, the garden has been designed to highlight the crucial relationship between soil, fungi and plants, which together form the basis of resilient forest ecosystems.

The Meta Garden: Growing the Future by garden designer Joe Perkins for the Chelsea Flower Show 2022

The garden will be an immersive experience, featuring a complex pavilion structure that represents the mycelium networks that connect and support woodland life, a central seating area sunken within the environment rather than imposed above it, and a unique interactive installation that will bring to life the complex communication webs in nature beneath our feet.  Joe Perkins said: “I hope visitors will feel immersed in and inspired by nature’s interconnectedness and the myriad of macro and microscopic networks in nature that depend on each other to heal, grow, and thrive.

The Meta Garden: Growing the Future by garden designer Joe Perkins for the Chelsea Flower Show 2022

“There is an urgent need to redress the balance of our relationship with the natural world, and there is so much to learn from the connections in nature, both in terms of how we learn to support and preserve sustainable forest ecosystems, and in how we act together as communities ourselves to tackle climate change.  The garden’s focus on the symbiotic relationship between trees, plants, and the mycorrhizae systems they depend upon, seeks to demonstrate the necessity of connection and how vital it is for the health of all communities.”

A colourful planting scheme of white, yellow, purple and red will feature specimens threatened by climate change, such as Linnaea borealis, as well as those well suited to predicted future climatic conditions like Sweet Chestnut and Douglas Fir. Alder will also feature for its ability to fix nitrogen in the soil, making it available to other species.  The naturalistic garden will also include a stylised meadow, showcasing almost 3000 plants both native to the UK and from around the world.

The Meta Garden: Growing the Future by garden designer Joe Perkins for the Chelsea Flower Show 2022

Following a successful partnership in 2019, Meta - the owner of Facebook and Instagram - is proud to partner with Joe again on a garden that embodies communities in all its forms and sizes: woodland-wide and microscopic; individual and collective.  Meta’s VP of Northern Europe, Steve Hatch, said: “The Meta Garden is all about championing natural ways in which we can tackle climate change and how we can protect our wonderful British woodlands.  We’ve seen a boom in enthusiastic plant-lovers across the UK during the pandemic. Individuals and communities are coming together on places like Facebook Groups and Instagram to share their tips, get inspired, and educate themselves on how we can all make more sustainable decisions for our planet.”

The Meta Garden: Growing the Future by garden designer Joe Perkins for the Chelsea Flower Show 2022

John Everitt, Chief Executive of the National Forest, said: “This is a forest of people, as much as trees, and is a forest for everyone. We are stronger growing together, as an entity, like the forest itself and the unseen mycelium that underpins its biodiversity. The networks of the National Forest are strong, and are essential to the changes we have seen over the past 30 years working with partners to create the Forest. We believe in the power of trees to transform people’s lives and the landscape, and will be excited to see Joe Perkins’s Meta garden relocated to the Forest. Many more people will be able to see it here and enjoy his interpretation of our interdependence through a forest-inspired garden.”

Plant List

Trees

Castanea sativa
Alnus glutinosa
Liriodendron tulipifera
Crataegus monogyna
Pseudotsuga menziesii
Crataegus persimilis 'Prunifolia'

 

Ferns

Asplenium trichomanes
Adiantum aleuticum
Blechnum spicant
Polystichum setiferum Plumosomultilobum Group
Dryopteris dilatata

 

Grasses

Ruscus aculeatus
Alopecurus pratensis
Briza media
Melica ciliata
Carex grayi
Carex divulsa
Carex remota
Anthoxanthum odoratum

 

Perennials 

Euphorbia amygdaloides var. robbiae
Rumex acetosa
Allium neapolitanum Cowanii Group
Galium odoratum
Ornithogalum nutans
Primula veris
Persicaria bistorta 'Superba'
Silene dioica
Lychnis flos-cuculi
Gillenia trifoliata
Polygonatum multiflorum
Digitalis purpurea
Gladiolus communis subsp. byzantinus
Fragaria vesca
Dodecatheon meadia
Galium verum
Acanthus mollis Latifolius Group 'Rue Ledan'
Viola 'Etain'
Disporopsis pernyi
Catananche caerulea
Centaurea cyanus 'Blue Boy'
Nectaroscordum siculum
Ornithogalum umbellatum
Papaver somniferum 'Black Peony'
Disporum longistylum 'Night Heron'
Linnaea borealis
Trollius x cultorum 'Lemon Queen'
Geum rivale
Aquilegia vulgaris
Centaurea cyanus 'Black Ball'
Selaginella kraussiana
Geum 'Bell Bank'
Trollius europaeus
Silene latifolia
Ornithogalum pyrenaicum
Geranium pratense
Papaver somniferum 'Lauren's Grape'
Saxifraga granulata
Viola cornuta 'Icy But Spicy'
Daucus carota 'Giant Red'
Ranunculus acris 'Citrinus'
Melittis melissophyllum subsp. albida
Synthyris missurica subsp. stellata
Echium vulgare (any variety)