RBC New Wild Garden, RHS Chelsea's First Full-Scale Rain
Garden, to Champion Arts and Crafts Ideal
London, 4 January 2011 Royal
Bank of Canada today announced its partnership with the
Landscape Agency to present the "RBC New Wild Garden"
at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2011. Led by award-winning
landscape designer Nigel Dunnett, the RBC New Wild Garden
will be RHS Chelsea's first full-scale "rain garden",
designed to capture and use every single drop of rain that
falls on it. The same team also collaborated on the recently-opened
RBC Rain Garden at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) London
Wetland Centre as part of the RBC
Blue Water Project.
The RBC New Wild Garden brings together two major themes
in British gardening in the last 100 years: the Arts and Crafts
ideal - celebrating the artistic and painterly use of plants,
combined with high quality and traditional craftsmanship,
local materials and strong sense of place - and the wild garden
- celebrating the beauty of nature, and the naturalistic use
of garden plants.
Both themes were introduced and championed by the Victorian
horticulturist William Robinson, a pioneer of modern gardening,
who popularised the herbaceous border and the use of perennials
in gardens, and who was also an early nature-conservationist
and an advocate of the principles of sustainable gardening.
The RBC New Wild Garden takes Robinson's ideas - developed
in rural and rustic settings - and imagines how they would
be applied now, in a contemporary urban setting, using modern
recycled materials, knowledge and technology. A major feature
of the garden will be an office space - built from a former
shipping container with a green roof and habitat walls.
The rain garden element is in keeping with the goals of the
RBC Blue Water Project, a wide-ranging, 10-year global commitment
to help protect the world's most precious natural resource:
fresh water. Since 2007, RBC has pledged over $27 million
to more than 350 not-for-profit organizations worldwide that
protect watersheds or ensure access to clean drinking water.
The RBC New Wild Garden supports the Project's aims to raise
awareness of the importance of efficient water management
wherever RBC operates around the globe.
Commenting on the RBC New Wild Garden, Lynn Patterson, Director
of Corporate Responsibility at RBC, said: "Nigel Dunnett's
team at the Landscape Agency has conceived a design that is
hugely innovative and immensely relevant to 21st-century city
living. The sustainability message, which is at the heart
of the RBC New Wild Garden's design, aligns perfectly with
our ongoing commitment to water preservation through our RBC
Blue Water Project. This is an exciting initiative and we
look forward to working together with the Landscape Agency
to help both raise awareness of the importance of water management
and promote the use of recycled materials."
Nigel Dunnett, said: "William Robinson was truly a pioneer
of sustainable gardening whose theories were a century ahead
of his time. I hope that the RBC New Wild Garden will prompt
a renewed interest in his ideas, particularly his championing
of nature-like planting, local materials and sense of place,
as articulated in his seminal book 'The Wild Garden'."
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Paul French +44 (0)
207 002 2013
Notes to editors
About The RBC New Wild Garden
The RBC New Wild Garden takes William Robinson's ideas
- developed in rural and rustic settings - and imagines how
they would be applied now, in a contemporary urban setting,
using modern materials and the knowledge and technology we
have available to us now within a strong sustainability ethic.
- Art and Craft The materials in the garden are surprising
and innovative - re-used, recycled and found objects and
materials, crafted and shaped into new uses. The garden
building is the ultimate example of recycling: a converted
shipping container transformed into a living structure.
The drystone walls are made not only of natural stone, but
urban waste materials and objects, giving a very different
sense of place. The main structures in the garden are bespoke
and artist-designed. Like the famous Arts and Crafts gardens,
there is a strong underlying geometry and order to the garden,
contrasting with rich, informal and loose planting.
- Art and Water The whole garden is a 'rain garden',
designed to capture and use every single drop of rain that
falls on it. From the living roof on the building, through
to the collecting pools and the soakaway planting, the garden
brings water to life, making the garden water-cycle visible,
and retaining water that would otherwise be lost.
- Art and Nature The entire garden is a wildlife
habitat - not just the diverse and dynamic planting, but
the walls, paving and building too. The planting is naturalistic
and naturalised, with garden plants growing intimately with
wildflowers in ecological settings of meadow, woodland and
wetland, combined with colour-graded stands of perennials:
a glimpse of new possibilities for both private and public
About Nigel Dunnett and the Landscape Agency
Dr Nigel Dunnett is a Reader in Urban Horticulture, and Director
of the Green Roof Centre, University of Sheffield. He is one
of the UK´s foremost planting designers and originated
the concept of `Pictorial Meadows´. His first Chelsea
Flower Show garden in 2009 won an RHS Silver-Gilt Medal. The
Landscape Agency is one of the leading consultancies in the
restoration, conservation and future development of historic
landscapes in Britain.
About the RBC Blue Water Project
The RBC Blue Water Project is an innovative, wide-ranging,
10-year global commitment to help protect the world's most
precious natural resource: fresh water. It includes a $50
million philanthropic commitment to organizations that protect
watersheds and ensure access to clean drinking water. The
RBC Blue Water Project also promotes responsible water use
through awareness programs and supports programs that encourage
businesses to develop and commercialize innovative solutions
to the water issues facing the world. Since 2007, RBC has
pledged over $27 million to more than 350 not-for-profit organizations
worldwide that protect watersheds or ensure access to clean
drinking water. For further information, please visit http://bluewater.rbc.com/.
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