RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2021 Part 2 - The Florence Nightingale Garden My Favourite
My favourite garden from Chelsea Flower Show 2021: The Florence Nightingale Garden - A Celebration of Modern-Day Nursing, created by garden designer Robert Myers, to mark the bicentenary of Florence Nightingale’s birthday , will be moved to London’s St Thomas’ Hospital in May 2022. It will be recreated on the upper terrace of the Albert Embankment, with views across the River Thames. The world’s first professional nursing school was established by Florence Nightingale in 1860 in this hospital sop it’s a perfect place for its permanent location. I am always very happy to see the show gardens finding new homes like that. It's a bit melancholy to know that most of the them only exist for a week, more like a performance than a real garden, like short-lived butterflies.
I am also glad to try and and catch ( hopefully) some of the illusive and fleeting beauty in my photographs.
Back to Chelsea after an eight-year absence, Robert Myers, designed the garden to be seen as if stepping into it from the hospital building, like a courtyard garden with a reflecting pool at the back and paths that wind through the planting that include the plants variety found in Florence’s pressed plant collection and many medicinal plants, such as her favourite flower, the foxglove, ferns in shade and drifts of late-flowering perennials and ornamental grasses, such as elegant Verbena bonariensis, Echinacea ( used to enchance immunity!) , giant rhubarb Rheum and Heptacodium miconioides, with scented flowers. There are lost of ideas here to use in your own garden – to create a space that is not only relaxing but with some plants that can be used as herbs to enhance our health.
Betula nigra tree
Heptacodium miconioides, with scented flowers.
A large pergola made from cross-laminated timber
As the birch foliage started turning yellow at the end of the show, thus making my images slightly more Autumn-like than the images taken earlier in the week, with lovely contrast with violet-blue flowers of Eurybia x herveyii, featured in may Chelsea gardens. The light was also different as I photographed the garden soon after 8 am in the morning with a white cloud in the sky, enhancing the colours greatly and making the space look flat in the images, giving it a pastel-like quality. This is possibly why I like this garden so much. I am stating the obvious but very important fact here: what we see and photograph depends on the time we arrive in the garden, as the light changes constantly and the plants do not stay the same, either.
I would like to finish with the presentation by the designer Robert Myers
I am sure the garden will be looking stunning its new hospital home, serving many patients on their way to recovery.
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