Gould returns to the show after last year’s victory, with an innovative communal garden
Hoping to follow last year’s success when she won Gold and ‘Best in Show’ for her Fresh Garden, Kate Gould MSGD is returning with an innovative design in the new Space to Grow category for Sir Simon Milton Foundation, supported by New West End Company.
Her ‘New West End Garden’ is a modern interpretation of the communal gardens and architecture of a London square, and will showcase some of the latest energy-harvesting and pollution-filtering technologies, mirroring features that can be seen in Bird Street, just off Oxford Street, launched by New West End Company last year.
Gould was contacted by The Sir Simon Milton Foundation, who were involved in Lee Bestall’s ‘500 Years of Covent Garden’ show garden last year. “They wanted to be at Chelsea again, and teamed up with The New West End Company to ensure that the garden, in part, could have a second life after the show. I have designed a green oasis, which I imagined in the heart of the West End, with paving technology developed by Pavegen, which generates electricity using the kinetic energy produced when people walk on it.”
Fresh, filtered air is pumped through a pergola, while the planting, chosen for its ability cope with high levels of pollution and absorb toxins, plays its part in creating a clean atmosphere too. Trees with light canopies, such as Cercidiphyllum japonicum and Acer tataricum subsp. ginnala, provide structure and shelter, and colourful low-level planting around the perimeter invites visitors into the garden. Key plants include Rosa Munstead Wood, Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’, Hosta ‘Empress Wu’, Viburnum plicatum, and Sarcococca confusa.
The garden also features a sunken area surrounded by tall vertical green walls planted with ferns. These are linked by lightweight pergola bars overhead to shield the space from surrounding buildings, thereby offering greater privacy. The boundaries walls are clad in Ashlar, referencing the classical architecture of some of the buildings in London’s most famous squares, and a simple water feature completes the picture.