Home Horticultural shows RHS Chelsea: BBC Radio 2 ‘Feel Good Gardens’

RHS Chelsea: BBC Radio 2 ‘Feel Good Gardens’

The Chris Evans Taste Garden
The Chris Evans Taste Garden. Picture; RHS Media Image Collection

New RHS Chelsea gardens named after five presenters

To celebrate its 50th birthday, BBC Radio 2 will be showing five ‘Feel Good Gardens’ at the Chelsea Flower Show, named after five presenters and based around one of the five senses.

The gardens are half the size of the big Show Gardens and will have the backdrop of the Royal Hospital Chelsea. On press day, Monday, May 22, Chris Evans will do an outside broadcast from the show from 6.30-9.30am.

Chris said: “I’m beyond thrilled to be taking the Radio 2 Breakfast Show to Chelsea and to work with Mary Berry on one of the Radio 2 Feel Good Gardens. We’re going al fresco and gardening bonkers for a very special show at the world’s most prestigious horticultural happening.”

The five BBC Radio 2 Feel Good Gardens are:

The Joe Whiley Scent Garden
The Joe Whiley Scent Garden. Picture; RHS Media Image Collection

The Chris Evans Taste Garden: designer, Jon Wheatley.
Friend of the breakfast show, Mary Berry, is helping celebrate the tastiest plants in UK gardens, allotments and in many communities. Plants that excite and stimulate your palate and enhance your lifestyle and health and well-being feature in this garden.

The allotment-style garden will be bursting with more than 50 different types of fruit, vegetables, edible flowers, and herbs, including carrots, pak choi, leeks, onions, cabbages, beetroot, sweetcorn, and rhubarb. Dahlias, violas, and nasturtiums will be among the edible flowers.

Mary said: “I love RHS Chelsea Flower Show and grow my own vegetables at home, so I’m extremely excited about Jon Wheatley’s allotment garden design.

“The garden is bursting with delicious and tasty plants to whet the appetite and help you feel good by enhancing your lifestyle and health and well-being.”


The Jeremy Vine Texture Garden
The Jeremy Vine Texture Garden. Picture; RHS Media Image Collection

The Jeremy Vine Texture Garden: designer Matt Keightley.
An immersive tactile garden that features bold geometric forms juxtaposed with soft and elegant planting. Varying material finishes and planting structure seemingly evolves through the space to create a garden people want to interact and relax in.

Appealing to our sense of touch, soft, feathery grasses will be juxtaposed with sharp pine bushes. A wall of jagged rocks will feature, alongside gnarled branches and smooth, polished pebbles are peppered on the floor.

Jeremy said: This is a dream for me. On several occasions, I have been to RHS Chelsea and felt deeply jealous of the green fingers that create the beauty. Now my own fingers have been called on.”

The Zoe Ball  Listening Garden
The Zoe Ball Listening Garden. Picture; James Alexander-Sinclair

The Zoe Ball Listening Garden: designer, James Alexander-Sinclair.
The garden aims to reproduce the sensation of feeling music through your whole body. Whilst you can’t hear the sound of music at the garden, it will be visible in water patterns in three long water troughs and the bass can be felt through the floor. The music will be from the last 50 years of Radio 2. Lush green planting will feature, including three trees and a 1.8-metre high hedge.

Zoe said: “Music has always been so important in my life and in my work. James’s plans to have the music vibrate through the garden is really inspirational and rather electric. Can’t wait for people to come feel and hear and smell and have their sensations truly tantalised!”

James added: “You know that feeling when you stand too close to a speaker stack at a concert? You can feel the music through your whole body. That is the flavour that we are trying to reproduce in this garden which of course will be lushly planted with many shades of green and foliage textures.”

The Anneka Rice Colour Cutting Garden
The Anneka Rice Colour Cutting Garden. Picture; RHS Media Image Collection

The Anneka Rice Colour Cutting Garden: designer, Sarah Raven.
Sarah is working with the interior designer, Tricia Guild OBE, as they share a passion for colour.

It is a profusion of colour that will be an amazing sight and concentrates on plants that cut and come out again. Gold, the colour for 50th wedding anniversaries, features strongly.

The Jo Whiley Scent Garden: designer, Tamara Bridge (2015 RHS Young Designer of the Year) and Kate Savill.
Tamara and Kate have asked fragrance designer Jo Malone to help create the garden, which will include aromas that transport you to a time or place such as woodland walks, rain on warm paving, fresh earth, and new leaf growth, or freshly cut flowers.

The theme of this garden is scent memories – a sunny border acts as a foil to the calming dappled shade of the woodland edge planting deeper. The garden draws attention to the power that scents of garden plants can have to improve mood, lift our spirits and make us feel good.

Jo Whiley said: “It’s not an understatement to say that working on a garden for the Chelsea Flower Show is a dream come true. I’ve been going to Chelsea for years as a gardening enthusiast and can’t wait to be on the other side.”

Limited numbers of tickets are available for the show, sponsored by M&G Investments, which runs from May 23-27 May, visit www.rhs.org.uk/flowershows.

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Mandy Watson is a freelance journalist and an incurable plantaholic. MandyCanUDigIt grew from the tiny seed of a Twitter account into the rainforest of information you see before you. Gardening columnist for the Sunderland Echo, Shields Gazette and Hartlepool Mail and editor of the Teesdale Mercury Magazine. Attracted by anything rebellious, exotic and nerdy, even after all these years. Passionate about northern England and gardens everywhere. Falls over a lot.


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