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WWF’s 50th Anniversary Garden – Why we care about Chalk Streams

By garden designer Fiona Stephenson. To celebrate 50 years and reveal “what is behind the panda”, WWF has worked with designer Fiona Stephenson to create a garden that reflects the unique beauty of a chalk stream and tells the story of WWF's water conservation work.

WWF’s 50th Anniversary Garden Hampton Court Flower Show 2011

Fiona's design positions the chalk stream as the focal point to the garden, including a stone monolith to represent the chalk aquifers that filter rainwater and which are responsible for creating chalk streams.

WWF’s 50th Anniversary Garden Hampton Court Flower Show 2011

A bridge and viewing platform constructed from reclaimed timber and of course, the WWF Panda, also take pride of place. The surrounding will consist of plants typically found around chalk streams or in alkaline soils, such as Buxus (box), Taxus (yew), Scabious (pin cushion flower) and Centaurea (cornflower). By amalgamating these with oversized, naturalistic and exaggerated planting, a theatrical 'larger than life' feel will be created.

WWF’s 50th Anniversary Garden Hampton Court Flower Show 2011

Taking inspiration from the River Itchen in Hampshire, the garden hints at a typical country scene. On closer inspection however, hidden messages will be revealed - a giant plug and spherical artwork allude to this habitat being under threat from our over use of water.

WWF’s 50th Anniversary Garden Hampton Court Flower Show 2011

It is hoped that the garden will inspire visitors to think about how we use water and how to help protect this special UK habitat, with its abundance of native wildlife.

WWF’s 50th Anniversary Garden Hampton Court Flower Show 2011