The Times Eureka Chelsea Garden comes to Kew for the Summer

The Times Eureka Chelsea Garden 2011The Times Eureka Garden at Chelsea Flower Show 2011

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, is delighted to announce that The Times Eureka Chelsea Garden will be on display at Kew, near Victoria Gate, from 8 July 2011 until this Autumn.

The show garden, designed by Marcus Barnett, which won a Silver Medal at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show, highlights the significance of plants to science and society.

The garden at Victoria Gate will, as far as possible, be faithful to the original design, with the exception that it will not include the still water features and boundary hedges that featured at Chelsea.

Visitors to Kew will also have the added benefit of being able to walk through the show garden and to see it against the majestic backdrop of Kew’s historic, UNESCO World Heritage Site landscape, and to see many more beautiful, useful and rare plants in Kew’s gardens and iconic glasshouses.

The species featured in the show garden demonstrate both beauty and utility, including medicinal, commercial, and industrial uses to underline the fact that plants are invaluable to our everyday lives – without them, none of us could live on this planet; they produce our food, clothing and the air that we breathe.

They include fennel, which is used to flavour food in many culinary traditions around the world and geraniums, often used as a diuretic and to treat kidney complaints – the leaves of which can also be used as mosquito repellent. Others are salvias, which is used as a treatment for diseases of the Central Nervous System, and roses, commonly used by the cosmetics industry and by drinks manufacturers.

Professor Angela McFarlane, Director of Public Engagement and Learning, said, “We are pleased to be able to give anyone who missed the Chelsea Flower Show an opportunity to see The Times Eureka show garden at Kew over the summer months.

As an organisation, the future and security of the planet’s plants is very close to our heart. This garden is not only stunning, but also embodies how we all absolutely depend on plants for the necessities of everyday life.

Marcus Barnett drew his inspiration for the garden from plant cell structure. A central pavilion, designed to look like the skeleton of a leaf, folded into a cube shape, provides a contemporary and light space from which to view the garden. From this structure ‘capillaries’ radiate along the ground, helping to demonstrate the link between plants and materials. For the design of the pavilion, Barnett collaborated with award winning architectural practice NEX. Engineering services were provided by Buro Happold.

Sussex based, The Outdoor Room, the main contractors for building the show garden, are also involved in the relocation of the garden to Kew.

The notion of plants as essential contributors to life on earth motivates much of Kew’s work around the globe. Kew’s scientists and conservationists are working to ensure that the plants that protect our environment continue to thrive, and that their usefulness for mankind is harnessed and enhanced. Kew maintains the world’s largest Herbarium, one of the world’s most important botanical reference libraries and probably the most diverse living collection of plants in the world. Kew also leads the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership, a global collaboration operating in more than 50 countries. It is the largest ex-situ conservation project in the world and have already banked the seeds of 10% of the world’s plant species.

The partnership between The Times and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, celebrates a shared commitment to science. The Times is the only national newspaper to have a dedicated monthly science magazine – it launched Eureka in October 2009, which every month devotes 60 pages to covering science, life and the environment.

Marcus Barnett is a prize winning graduate in landscape design, with two RHS Gold Medals at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2005 and 2006 and a Silver Gilt in 2007. Influenced both by modernist architecture and the English garden tradition, he is known for his classically contemporary style, in which bold, abstract geometry, clean lines, and modern materials combine with clipped evergreen shapes and the softening influence of grasses and perennials. His work ranges from urban courtyards, which blur and blend boundaries between indoors and out, to large country house gardens, where the ground is sensitively manipulated to the rhythms of the surrounding landscape.


Article posted on 11 Jul 2011.

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