Leeds Beckett graduates growing for gold at Chelsea
The duo, who run their family landscape architecture business, Rich Landscapes, based near Brecon, Wales, have been awarded a gold medal in the show garden category for their 'Cloudy Bay Garden', which is sponsored by the Cloudy Bay winery in New Zealand and Bord Na Mona, and in association with Vital Earth.
Harry and David Rich designed the Cloudy Bay Garden to reflect the tasting notes and characteristics of two of Cloudy Bay’s popular wines. Using this as the basic concept, they selected planting and flower colours, perfumes and textures to visualise the flavours experienced when drinking the wine. A moveable shack in the centre of the garden reflects the vineyard’s heritage, giving different perspectives of the garden, whatever the weather.
Speaking to the Radio Times ahead of the competition, the brothers said: “For our Cloudy Bay garden this year we really wanted to do something young and different. We see a garden as being something that extends the house – part of it rather than separate. We like the idea of inside and out coming together so that the garden almost becomes another room and we use it as a space, something that works with a lifestyle choice.
“At Chelsea we’ve built ‘The Shack’ – a glass box on oak fins or slats. You can see through it but, in parts, it’s also opaque. It’s designed to be enticing. But the most exciting thing is that it moves.
“It goes in a Z-fashion from one end of the garden to another. You push a button and it comes to you. It’s on a rail track powered by a motor. I don’t think anyone will have seen anything like it at Chelsea before. It rotates you round the garden and it gives you a lovely moving perspective that you wouldn’t get if you were walking through the garden.
“We also have tables and chairs that come out of the boundary wall and we commissioned a piece of art to come out of the wall, too, when the table and chairs fold down. We think it gives the whole experience some depth and plays with the notion of boundaries. It’s linking architecture to the garden.
“We do have some flowers, though. We have some grasses and a mixture of delicate plants and some eye-catching ones. We’ll be using digitalis, a carpet of grasses, some angelica and Acanthus mollis. We’ll have a cherry tree in the middle to create depth but also a special type of garden.
“Our garden is definitely not about a lawn and a gravel path and flower beds! It’s a rock ’n’ roll garden.”
David graduated from the BA (Hons) Landscape Architecture and Design course in 2013, whilst Harry is a graduate of the same course from 2008. The brothers won a gold medal in the 2013 RHS Chelsea Flower Show for their artisan garden ‘Un Garreg’ (one stone), and brought home a silver-gilt medal in 2014 for their show garden, ‘Vital Earth the Night Sky Garden’.
The RHS Chelsea Flower Show runs from Tuesday 19 – Saturday 23 May 2015.
The Rich brothers talk to Billionaire.com about their show garden