Caption: A Garden of Royal reflection
Caption: Saatchi Gallery Garden
Caption: Women in Horticulture at The Monument

A tribute to the late Queen and the King’s love of gardening, the unsung heroines of horticulture, contemporary sculpture, and engaging children with nature, are all themes of gardens being supported by Dalefoot Composts at RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Our peat-free composts will be gracing four gardens at the renowned flower show, highlighting a real mix of topics, and created by some of the leading designers in the country. The Dalefoot team will also be on hand to chat peat-free gardening on our trade stand EAE 548 in the shopping zone at the show.

“We are proud to be supporting such talented designers with their gardens and delighted show visitors will get to see our composts ‘in action’ at the most prestigious event of its kind in the world,” said Simon Bland of Dalefoot.

1. A Garden of Royal Reflection and Celebrationdesigned by Dave Green, will feature some of the Windsor’s favourite plants. Enclosed by hedging to create a space for contemplation, the Royal tribute garden will feature a plant palette of light pinks and whites such as rose ‘Olivia Austin’ and silver birch to reflect the late monarch’s tastes. Blues, purples and pinks such as magnolia ‘Heaven Scent’, clematis ‘The Duchess of Cornwall’, lupins and geraniums, represent the King’s preferences according to Sandringham’s Head Gardener, Jack Lingfield.


Drifts of Camassia, as planted in the meadows in front of Highgrove House, will also feature in the RHS Garden, along with a bronze statue of the King created by the artist Kezia Burt and several woodland trees. Plants are being provided by some of the UK’s top specialist plant growers, including Raymond Evison, Hare Spring Cottage Plants, and David Austin, who Queen Elizabeth II knew personally from her visits to RHS Chelsea.


2. Dave Green is also creating The Saatchi Gallery Garden, showcasing work by the sculptor Catriona Robertson, and designed to be a natural landscape dominated by pioneer plant species such as silver birches and foxgloves. A dead hedge backdrop will provide a setting for sculpture which emerges from the ground and the walls. Made from reclaimed materials the sculpture aims to show how natural systems are interrupted by human activity.


3. Designer Pollyanna Wilkinson will be championing women in horticulture for her special installation garden at The Monument in the Great Pavilion at the show. One element will be dedicated to unsung plant heroes, with the design for the space firmly female-focussed. Alongside the planting will be a dedication to some of the individuals who have played an important role in the development of horticulture be it as designer, scientist, campaigner, plant collector, journalist, artist or gardener. She said: “I am delighted to be using Dalefoot’s Lakeland Gold in our garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show - not only does it give a beautiful finish to the display, it is sustainably produced and peat free.”


4. A children’s ‘edimentals’ garden with a very important message, designed by Harry Holding, will highlight the work of food education charity School Food Matters. Raising vital questions about healthy eating and the future of food production in a changing climate, the garden will explore why children need to be represented in these discussions. Designed as an immersive, forageable and naturalistic landscape, the garden will entice children to explore, inspiring them with a variety of edible, climate-adapted plants along the way. The aim is to stimulate their senses and encourage them to learn about the diversity and bounty of food in nature. With food as a central theme, ornamental edibles (edimentals) are weaved throughout the design, accounting for over 80% of the planting. Paths will be child-sized, allowing youngsters to create their own imagined worlds as they meander through plants, scramble over boulders and journey past the raw elements of food production - tactile rammed earth walls, reflective water, flowers to attract pollinators and light-capturing grasses. Calming, textural green planting is intersected by bold, colourful ribbons of flowers, all leading to a tranquil place where children can express their views on food and climate change through direct quotes painted on a central wall. The majority of planting in the School Food Matters Garden will be drought tolerant and resilient for a changing climate. Contrastingly, a natural ‘seasonally wet’ pool will show the realities of British winters and highlight the need to plant appropriately.

5. The RBC Brewin Dolphin Garden, designed by Paul Hervey-Brookes, draws creative inspiration from the way knowledge is passed down from generation to generation and interpreted for the modern world.
The inspiration of the garden is that of a young couple who have taken on the experience and expertise of their grandparents to make a garden which expresses their ideals of longevity, biodiversity and habitat for the future.
The plants create a space which is biodiverse, purifying the air and with successional planting to provide habitat potential. In amongst the clipped hawthorn and hornbeam is a hand-built oak pavilion structure with bespoke metalwork roof and three porcelain sculptures by Parisian ceramicist Gregory Tchalikian which conveys the idea of knowledge expanding the mind.


Last year Dalefoot Composts won a gold medal at RHS Chelsea for its joint display with the Eden Project demonstrating the importance of peat bogs and the environmental damage gardeners are causing to our planet by using peat compost in their outdoor spaces.


Their immersive display featured a real piece of ‘borrowed’ Cumbrian peatbog to highlight the critical importance of UK peatlands to our climate and urged gardeners to ditch using peat. It used a little piece of Cumbrian peatland from Bolton Fell Moss National Nature Reserve (NNR) - a restored Cumbrian bog previously used to harvest peat for horticulture - on loan under special license from Natural England. Show visitors were invited ‘to step into’ it to experience the secrets, sounds and beauty of these enormous bog gardens. They were able to hear sounds from a peatland - curlews, lapwing, the hum of billions of insects and the occasional squelch - whilst getting up close to the fascinating bog plants - sphagnum mosses, cotton grass, cranberries, and heathers. The peatland display was given expert care by the Dalefoot team whilst at the show to make sure it remained hydrated and was returned to its natural home after the event had ended.

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© Barker and Bland Ltd t/a Dalefoot Composts 2014 - 2024. All rights reserved.
Barker and Bland is a limited company registered in England and Wales. Registered office: Dalefoot Farm, Heltondale, Nr Penrith, Cumbria, CA10 2QL. Registered number: 8312959

This project is supported by the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) for which Defra is the Managing Authority, part funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas.

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