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The Winton Beauty of Mathematics Garden

Nick Bailey Designs Show Garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016 to highlight the Beauty of Mathematical Principles in Nature 

Nick Bailey, Head Gardener at Chelsea Physic Garden, has designed The Winton Beauty of Mathematics Garden at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show. Inspired by Winton’s expertise in financial mathematics and empirical scientific research, the garden celebrates the beauty found in the mathematics and algorithms which underpin all plants, growth and life.

The Winton Beauty of Mathematics Garden RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016

The garden’s layout is based on the mathematical symbol for infinity, with further well-known mathematical expressions and concepts evident in the central area of the garden‘s path and planting layout. The proportions of the garden and the structure of the belvedere are based on “the golden ratio” and the closely related Fibonacci sequence. The etched glass panels on the belvedere’s upper and lower decks show the radial spirals created by asteraceae plants. Equally, the elegant water bowl (based on a pine cone) represents potential life and shows the Fibonacci sequence in a physical form that complements the nearby pine tree.

The Winton Beauty of Mathematics Garden RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016

Flowing through the centre of the garden is a beautiful copper band symbolising germination and growth of a seedling. The band emerges at one end of the plot, rising in height to become first a bench, then a stair banister and finally a planter that sweeps around the top of the belvedere. The belvedere is pitched at 3.5m (11 1/2ft) above the garden and overflows with trailing plants. This planter represents leaf emergence and is richly planted with verdant trailing species. Etched into the copper band is a series of plant growth algorithms and equations. 

The Winton Beauty of Mathematics Garden RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016

Visitors will experience a fresh dynamic garden bursting with plants of the Southern Hemisphere and Mediterranean, whose delicate leaves and wiry forms epitomise nature’s mathematical patterns. Of particular significance are species such as Aloe polyphylla (which is a perfect Fibonnacci spiral), Aeonium tabuliforme and pines and plants from the Asteraceae family. Purple and violet flowered perennials feature significantly and are complemented with planting in tones of chartreuse, silver and white. Foliage tones are significant too with copper, pale-blue and silver repeating through the garden. Key plants include: Banksia integrifolia, Lotus berthelotii and Corokia cotoneaster.


Pinus sylvestris 'Watereri'
Stewartia pseudocamellia
Araucaria bidwillii
Banksia integrifolia
Eucalyptus camaldulensis



Rosa glauca
Ceratostigma willmottianum
Myrtus communis
Eucalyptus gunnii
Acacia dealbata
Pinus sylvestris 'Watereri'
Olearia x scilloniensis
Myrtus communis subsp. tarentina
Feijoa sellowiana
Dodonaea viscosa 'Purpurea'
Corokia x virgata 'Frosted Chocolate'
Pittosporum tenuifolium
Pseudopanax crassifolius
Poncirus trifoliata
Luma apiculata
Loropetalum chinense f. rubrum 'Hines Purpleleaf'
Corokia cotoneaster
Banksia ericifolia
Ozothamnus rosmarinifolius 'Silver Jubilee'
Banksia integrifolia
Ceratonia siliqua
Dasylirion wheeleri
Echium webbii
Eremophila glabra 'Kalbarri Carpet'
Grevillea 'Coastal Sunset'
Puya mirabilis


Small Shrubs:

Aloe polyphylla
Berzelia intermedia
Leucophyllum candidum
Astelia chathamica
Aeonium 'Zwartkop'
Westringia fruticosa