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RBC Partners with Olympic Park Design Consultant for Sustainable 'Paradise Garden' at Chelsea Flower Show

LONDON, January 16, 2012 — Royal Bank of Canada today announced its partnership with Nigel Dunnett and the Landscape Agency to present the "RBC Blue Water Garden" at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2012. This is the second year that the team has collaborated, following the success of the RBC New Wild Garden, which was awarded a Silver-Gilt Medal in 2011.

The RBC Blue Water Garden aims to showcase inventive urban rainwater management 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.

Exploring the concept of 'artful rainwater management', the RBC Blue Water Garden will aim to bring the water cycle to life by becoming the first RHS Chelsea Flower Show garden to incorporate bioswales as a central feature. Instead of excess rainwater being sent straight to the drains and through invisible buried pipes, these linear structures channel the runoff, allowing it to circulate through the garden visibly. In this way, the RBC Blue Water Garden is a modern and sustainable interpretation of the formal 'paradise garden' such as at the Alhambra in Granada, Spain, where linear rills and canals form the centre-piece of the palace gardens. Importantly, the garden shows how sustainable concepts can form the basis for the design of even the most formal of gardens.

The planting draws on Nigel Dunnett's experience as lead horticultural and planting design consultant for the London 2012 Olympic Park. Dramatic, colourful and naturalistic in Nigel Dunnett's typical style, it is loosely modelled on beautiful examples of dry meadows from around the world and includes four different naturalistic mixes, including a dramatic Turks Cap Lily meadow display. Meanwhile, the garden's overall colour scheme and pavilion are inspired by the landscape and architecture of the Puglia region, Italy with its distinctive 'Trulli' buildings with their conical 'dry stone' roofs.

Sneak peek at the RBC Blue Water Garden plan
Sneak peek at the RBC Blue Water Garden plan

Nigel Dunnett, designer of the RBC Blue Water Garden, said: "The RBC Blue Water Garden explores how gardens and the landscape can form a central role in sustainable urban water management. I have been inspired by forward-looking urban planners in North America and Australia who use artful rainwater management principles creatively, using bioswales in streets and car parks to introduce dramatic planting into areas that would never otherwise be planted. By drawing both on these techniques and those used in traditional paradise gardens I hope to show that rainwater management can be celebrated within a beautiful, formal context."

Mike Moodie, head of RBC Wealth Management's UK business, commented: "Our first foray to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show last year was a great success, and the opportunity to back a truly innovative garden design for the second year running is very exciting. The RBC Blue Water Garden will be an important statement about how outdoor spaces can play a central role in sustainable urban water management."

Harry Samuel, CEO, Europe at RBC Capital Markets, added: "One of the goals of the RBC Blue Water Project is to encourage responsible water use, and the opportunity to have such a highly-regarded designer on board leading the project has been fantastic. We are thoroughly looking forward to seeing the design materialise and know that it will help raise awareness of the fact that a beautiful garden can also conserve water."

The garden is to be constructed by Landform Consultants.

About Nigel Dunnett and the Landscape Agency
Dr Nigel Dunnett is Professor of Planting Design, and Director of the Green Roof Centre, University of Sheffield. He is one of the UK´s foremost planting designers, and exponent of sustainable landscape and garden design, and originated the concept of `Pictorial Meadows´. He has won RHS Silver-Gilt Medals at Chelsea in 2009 and 2011. The Landscape Agency is one of the leading landscape design and landscape masterplanning consultancies 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 CA $33 million to more than 450 not-for-profit organizations worldwide that protect watersheds or ensure access to clean drinking water. For further information, please visit RBC Blue Water Project.

About RBC
Royal Bank of Canada (RY on TSX and NYSE) and its subsidiaries operate under the master brand name RBC. We are one of Canada's largest banks as measured by assets and market capitalization, and are among the largest banks in the world, based on market capitalization. We are one of North America's leading diversified financial services companies, and provide personal and commercial banking, wealth management services, insurance, corporate and investment banking and transaction processing services on a global basis. We employ approximately 74,000 full- and part-time employees who serve close to 15 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 56 other countries. For more information, please visit rbc.com.

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