Wow! You Voted And We WON!
The Perennial Garden ‘With Love’ by Richard Miers is the RHS People’s Choice for 2022.
“A huge thank you to everyone who voted. And to the thousands of people who came to see the garden. We’ve talked about everything from hawthorns and wildlife to who you’d share our Alfred Lord Tennyson quote with: If I had a flower for every time I thought of you. This Award is even more special because it helps to raise awareness of, and support for, Perennial, the charity supporting everyone working with plants, trees, flowers and grass. I consider myself one of the lucky ones, but a life in horticulture can be precarious. Perennial are here for the people in our industry when they need it the most”.
With Love, Richard.
Take a look through the Garden Booklet
Garden designer Richard Miers and Perennial are delighted to have collaborated on our first ever show garden appearance on main avenue at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show with The Perennial Garden ‘With Love’.
Here you can find out more about our journey to Chelsea, Richard’s approach to the design as well as expert planting inspiration and contact information for all those involved in creating this spectacular garden.
A garden designed with love
Richard believes that gardens are a gift of love between those who create and nurture them and those who visit and enjoy them. And we couldn’t agree more, our work cherishes everyone who works with plants, grass, trees and flowers – the very people who shape and nurture the green spaces that we all love and enjoy. So, The Perennial Garden ‘With Love’ was the perfect way for Richard and Perennial to join forces.
It’s a design that has been in Richard’s head for a number of years and now gets its chance to wow the public. Packed into the allocated space (22m by 10m) are all of the hallmarks of a Richard Miers’ garden. The design reflects Richard’s strong sense of geometry, his mastery of classical design and his ability to deliver soft elegance. This stunning garden is sheltered on two sides and above, creating a private enclave for visitors. It reintroduces the tradition of taking a walk around a garden and enjoying it with all of our senses.
Hornbeam hedging gently encloses the garden providing a feeling of shelter and security. Flat-topped, hawthorn trees provide structure, symmetry and repetition and flank the central rill. Four multi-stem Parrotia persica trees add a natural sculptural element and contrast with clipped domes of Taxus baccata and Prunus lusitanica. The predominantly green palette is softened by gentle soft white and plum tones in the underplanting and borders.
The road to Chelsea
The main avenue show garden is a first for both Richard and Perennial and we’re delighted to be achieving our long-held ambition together.
Richard’s first RHS Chelsea experience was in his early 20s when it was still possible to get hold of a wristband and get stuck in on-site during the build phase. Now, to top off an international garden design career that has spanned 26 years, Richard is showcasing everything he’s learned and presenting his design at the world’s most famous flower show.
Perennial’s path to main avenue has also extended over quarter of a century. Building on our previous successes with show gardens elsewhere and floral exhibits at RHS Chelsea, this opportunity was beyond our wildest dreams. The reach and profile of the event creates a focus for our 2022 fundraising campaigns, raising awareness of Perennial with RHS Chelsea visitors and reaching people in horticulture who may need us.
“Richard’s beautiful garden represents the very best of horticulture – art, craft, skill, collaboration and love are all present in abundance. We are very excited about how powerfully it will reach those who either need our help or would like to support us in our purpose of building better futures for people in horticulture and their families.”
Peter Newman, Chief Executive, Perennial
Richard’s 26-year career has translated into gardens for a dacha in Moscow, a villa in Sardinia, a country garden in Norfolk, a newly-built Palladian mansion in Surrey and numerous town gardens in London. He’s been named among the top 10 garden designers by House and Garden Magazine, been invited to design a show and a feature garden for The Daily Telegraph/House and Garden Fair, and was chosen to represent the UK at the Gardening World Cup in Nagasaki. Today, his busy and expanding London practice continues to attract a stream of high-profile projects.
Take a look through our Garden Booklet
Week Three Garden Update
Wow, the final build week for Chelsea has flown by in floral flurry of excitement and trepidation, and we’re almost show ready! Richard took the chance to pause on site and reflect on the months of planning and teamwork behind the main avenue appearance – we’re sure we saw a glint of ‘love’ in his eye.
“We are on day 18 and all elements of the garden are coming together beautifully: the plants, trees, sculpture, stone, the many teams, all of it! We are so excited for next week” Richard Miers
This week was all about the planting. The herbaceous plants, from Form Plants, arrived bringing the most beautiful blue skies and sunshine with them, allowing the planting team to work their magic. Thank you Sophie, Conor and Patrick and Vickie Pease-Cox of Richard Miers’ team who has also been knees deep in the garden from day one lending her expertise.
Our Perennial trainees, Kate, Tom, Gary and Jason, from our York Gate and Fullers Mill Gardens joined the planting team too for the final few days. They loved their time on the garden – a unique opportunity to experience the skill and hard work that goes into a show garden. They’ve returned to York Gate and Fullers Mill full of inspiration.
Our beautiful pieces of commissioned artwork are in place too – We love how the sculptures by Jack Egan and benches by Torc Pots have brought the spirit of the garden to life. Plus, we’ve got some additional installations that will be revealed next week. The garden, pond and rill cleaning is now underway to make sure that everything is perfect for show time next week. Stay tuned!
Work on building our trade stand began this week as well. We can’t wait to share our design with you which has been inspired by Richard’s garden. If you’re visiting the show, please stop by to find out more about us and how we help those in our amazing industry. We’d love for you to get involved and help to support those who provide us with such wonderful experiences such as RHS Chelsea, (stand no EA479).
Now, you can’t come to Chelsea without a bit of shopping, and we’ve got some beautiful gifts inspired by the garden. Our miniature versions of the garden sculptures by Jack Egan could look fabulous in your garden at home. Don’t worry if you can’t make it to the show, you can also buy them online from next week, keep an eye on our Tuesday email when they will go on sale.
Now it’s time for those final tweaks…let the countdown begin. Just a few more hours and we’ll be RHS Chelsea Flower Show ready!
With Love, Richard and the Perennial team
Week Two Garden Update
This week has seen some of the garden’s stars driven down main avenue!
The whole build team has performed some kind of logistical magic to get these heavyweights to RHS Chelsea, along main avenue, off the transport and into the ground on our 22 metre by 10 metre plot! The Parrotia persica alone weighs two tonnes.
We’re also starting to get early glimpses of what’s on the planting list. Which is hugely exciting given its top-secret nature.
The rill and pond have also come along at pace. And there’s the addition of some hard landscaping elements to finish it all off too.
And we’ve seen plenty of shots of designer Richard Miers bringing all his knowledge, experience and practical skills to this all-important build phase – he’s aiming for nothing short of forensic perfection. Richard was even spotted hard at work on top of the ladders.
Next week will see even more changes as the start of the most famous flower show in the world edges closer!
Week One Garden Update
Work has started on site at RHS Chelsea and the excitement is building. Ground on the blank plot has been broken; this piece of land is going to look incredibly different in just a matter of days. Rill and pond experts, Water Artisans have been busy working on the rill and water supply.
And we’re starting to see things from a whole new perspective too. We’ve all got used to seeing the trees with their root balls exposed but now they are being sunk into the RHS Chelsea site and we’re adjusting to their planted height.
Not long until the big reveal!
Our trainee gardeners will help finish The Perennial ‘With Love’ Garden by Richard Miers
The epic task of building The Perennial Garden ‘With Love’ by Richard Miers on the main avenue at RHS Chelsea has begun.
More than 50 people are involved and they have just 17 days to turn the 22 metre by 10 metre space into a forensically perfect garden.
Joining the planting team on the final two days are four Perennial trainee gardeners from our Leeds and West Suffolk gardens, which we open to the public to raise funds.
Gary Bean from Mildenhall and Jason Gotts, who lives near Norwich, are based at Fullers Mill, West Stow. Gary, 36, began his apprenticeship five years ago and is expecting his task at RHS Chelsea to be very different to his day job. Having only watched the show on TV, Gary says he’s grateful for the opportunity to get hands-on and behind the scenes.
Jason, 41, is eight months into a trainee position with Perennial, after starting as a volunteer. It’s been his goal to work on an RHS Chelsea show garden having visited the show. Jason is interested in garden design and is keen to learn from Richard.
Kate Holliday is a month into her job as a trainee gardener at York Gate garden, where she also volunteered, and following a career change. The 41-year-old, who lives near Bradford, studied horticulture whilst working full-time. Kate says this is a unique opportunity to experience the hard graft and skills that go into making an RHS Chelsea show garden. She’s also looking forward to being part of team and playing a small role in making an impactful garden for people to enjoy.
Joining Kate from York Gate is Tom Nicholls, who also swapped careers to be a trainee gardener. Three years into the role, Tom, 36, who lives near Leeds, will travel to RHS Chelsea from a study visit to Sweden where he is learning about naturalistic gardening from expert Peter Korn. Like Gary, Tom says he has only ever experienced the flower show through BBC coverage and is keen to find inspiration from all the gardens whilst working on one of the largest plots on main avenue.
If you can’t wait to see what magic the team create over the next 17 days, you can take a virtual walk around the garden here https://perennial.org.uk/home/gardens/the-perennial-garden-rhs-chelsea-2022/
Jack Eagan sculpture
One of the stunning sculptures from the Perennial ‘With Love’ garden by Richard Miers has recently been on show in a London Gallery. The Lucinda Dalton Gallery Spring Exhibition ran from late March to early April and showcased ‘Dancers’ by Jack Eagan.
Here’s what Jack has to say about working with Richard on this piece for our very special RHS Chelsea garden:
“Richard Miers contacted me with the offer to collaborate on a standalone sculpture to be featured at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2022. Delighted to help, I offered Richard some suggestions from my archive and when he specifically selected this piece as an interpretation of two figures dancing, ‘Dancers’ was born.”
Jack goes on to explain some of the inspiration behind this particular form:
“I have always been drawn to the twisted gestural growth in the sketches and paintings of pollard birches by Vincent Van Gogh. I would spend hours recreating them with a biro on paper as a child and my fascination with metamorphic forms remains. I began this piece with a thousand fluid sketches laid out one on top the other, like twisted branches gnarled and deformed and out of this matrix of lines I traced out the basic rhythm and shape for the piece.”
And here’s the full Dancers specification:
Finish: Classic Iron Patina
This patina is stable in an outdoor environment and over a period of years you will see a natural evolution as it naturalises to the environment it is located within.
Plinth: Bronze Sheet and internal stainless steel structural sub-frame.
The plinth is finished with a classical dark variegated copper green patina, synonymous with the work of Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth.
Material Specification: Cast bronze.
The average thickness is around 6mm so the sculpture will endure many hundreds of years in an outside location.
You might be wondering why information about one of our other gardens is featuring in an update about our RHS Chelsea gardens. Well, it transpires that there are some commonalties between the Laskett and our Perennial ‘With Love’ garden by Richard Miers.
“Common to both gardens, is the judicious use of structural plants to provide the underlying framework to the garden. This design element ensures that the garden remains interesting once the fanfare of flowers has gone.
Elegantly shaped topiary can also be seen in both gardens. In the ‘With Love’ garden there are two large Taxus domes, eight Prunus lusitanica domes and a large drumstick shaped Taxus. These strong structural elements are softened by the planting, a formula that is also mirrored at the Laskett.
And, as at the Laskett, I use vistas and focal points to draw you out into and lead you around the garden. Sculptures are an important element in achieving this.”
So, it seems the Laskett is a good way to tease some of the secrets of the ‘With Love’ garden out! We can’t wait to see Richard’s structure, planting and sculptures revealed in all their glory.
The Laskett gardens are open from May to September to pre-booked groups. You can find out more here.
Behind the scenes
The countdown is on to RHS Chelsea so there’s a lot of activity behind the scenes right now.
Refining the plant choice for the Perennial ‘With Love’ garden is one of the most recent jobs. Designer Richard Miers revealed that they are working on three distinct areas of the garden to help with the choices, those that thrive in shade, partial shade and sunny.
Two of the confirmed choices are lupin ‘Masterpiece’ with its beautiful palm-shaped leaves, which are incredibly tactile and soft to touch, and Libertia grandiflora or the New Zealand satin flower, which will have slim, upright white flowers when the garden is revealed in May.
And we’ve seen Iberis sempervirens, commonly known as candytuft, and Blechnum spicant fern – or a deer fern. The white flowers of the evergreen candytuft attract bees, butterflies and moths, and we love the striking, feathery foliage of the deer fern.
Richard’s social media updates have also confirmed that the Taxus baccata are coming along nicely under the care of Form Plants. We’ve had a sneak preview of their stunning stems, and a little video of one of the Taxus balls being hand clipped with shears by Excelsis Gardens. These trees are one of the longest lived native species in Europe. They’re also a wildlife haven. We can’t wait to see them in their full glory on the garden.
A Cornus kousa ‘White Fountain’ tree has been unwrapped over at Form Plants, confirming that this stunning multi-stem specimen will take centre stage.
Another hugely exciting reveal has been the beginnings of the chamomile lawn. We’re already thinking ahead to the gorgeous soft and fluffy feel and delicious scent underfoot.
Beyond the planting, we’ve also been shown tantalising snippets of some of the sculptural elements of the garden. Jack Eagan is in the final stages of metal finishing on his piece, entitled Dancers, which is a collaboration with Richard. And Torc Pots are handmaking a pebble seat.
You can keep a close eye on all the behind the scenes activity on Richard’s Instagram account and our own social channels (links on top of page).
BEWITCHING THE BIRDS, BEES & BUTTERFLIES
Whether you’re growing on terraces and balconies, on a roof top or in a garden, there are plenty of biodiversity-boosting tips that you can pick up from our RHS Chelsea garden. The ‘With Love’ garden will illustrate the point that a garden doesn’t have to be wild to be a haven for wildlife.
Designer, Richard Miers has been sharing some of his secrets for bewitching the birds, bees and butterflies:
“We’re using an exciting combination of more than 50 perennials and six varieties of trees and hedging to encourage a diverse range of wildlife into the garden. Without giving too much away before RHS Chelsea, here’s a little bit of insight into some of the plants I’ve chosen to play this key ecological role in May.
Known as the common hawthorn, it’s a beloved native tree with a long season of interest that is of invaluable benefit to wildlife, providing nectar and berries as well as shelter.
Hornbeams are native to the UK and have intrinsic value to our wildlife population providing food and, as a tough and hardy tree, much-needed winter cover.
Sporting the rather brilliant name, bear’s breeches, this is being used for foliage in the ‘With Love’ garden. But when it does flower, it’s nectar and pollen rich blooms are bee-friendly. As this plant is drought resistant, it is also well able to cope with our drier and warmer climate.
Often found carpeting native woodland floors, the early-flowering wood anemone is favoured by hoverflies and munched on by deer, wild rabbits, hares, mice and voles.
A familiar sight along roadsides and in meadows, cow parsley is an important early source of pollen for a variety of insects, including bees and hoverflies. It’s also a food plant for the moth, Agonopterix heracliana and a nectar source for orange-tip butterflies.
Bees and pollinators head for Hattie’s pincushions, which can flower for months and have branched heads of neat flowers that rejuvenate if cut back close to the ground after flowering.
Cornflowers, knapweeds and ragged robins all belong to the Centaurea genus along with many other common garden plants. We’re featuring three varieties, all of which are loved by bees and butterflies.
Is there a better sight than a fat bee bottom filling a foxglove bell? We’re using two varieties in the show garden.
Blenchium spicant / Aslemium scolopendrium.
Moving away from the pollinator-friendly plants for a moment, ferns are useful for foragers, beetles, frogs and newts to hide in.
Bees, butterflies and moths are attracted to the nectar and pollen rich flowers of this evergreen shrub, which is more commonly known as candytuft.
Roses attract aphids and ladybirds. The ladybirds then lay their eggs and their larvae eat the aphids. Birds appreciate the gifts borne by roses, snacking on sawflies, caterpillars etc.
Known for attracting bees, butterflies and moths, mullein have nectar and pollen-rich flowers. They are also a caterpillar food plant.
“Continuing the wildlife-friendly theme, the garden also has plenty of water. As well as the rill, we have a pond from which the rill descends. Ponds are well recognised for their beneficial effects, with even the tiniest bit of water helping wildlife to thrive. The pond will be sloped at one end to ensure wildlife can get in and out easily.
“I have also chosen to use a camomile lawn, which is far more environmentally friendly than a traditional lawn.”
The Perennial Garden ‘With Love’ – Richard Miers Planting List 2022
Allium stipitatum ‘Mount Everest’
Anthriscus sylvestris ‘Ravenswing’
Aquilegia ‘William Guiness’
Astrantia major ‘Large White’
Astrantia major subsp.involucrata ‘Shaggy’
Blechnum penna marina
Campanula persicifolia var. alba
Centaurea montana ‘Alba’
Centaurea montana ‘Purple Heart’
Centreanthus ruber ‘Albus’
Chamaemelum nobile ‘Treneague’
Digitalis ‘Dalmation White’
Digitalis purpurea f. albiflora
Epimedium grandiflorum ‘Lilafee’
Epimedium x youngianum ‘Niveum’
Foeniculum vulgare Purpureum
Geranium clarkei ‘Kashmir White’
Geranium macrorrhizum ‘White-Ness’
Geranium phaeum ‘Album’
Geranium phaeum ‘Raven’
Geranium sanguineum ‘Album’
Iris Louisiana ‘Waihi Wedding’
Iris Madeiria Belle
Lupinus ‘Gallery white’
Lupinus ‘Noble Maiden’
Lychnis flos-cuculi ‘White Robin’
Nigella papillosa ‘African Bride’
Paeonia lactiflora ‘Duchesse de Nemours’
Saxifraga x urbium
Thalictrum delavayi ‘Album’
Thalictrum delavayi ‘Nimbus White’
Viola cornuta ‘Alba Group’
Topiary and Shrubs
Taxus baccata Domes x 2
Taxus baccata Topiary x 1 Drum shape
Prunus lusitanica Domes x 8
Parrotia persica x 5
Crataegus monogyna x 6 – (Flat Topped) Cornus kousa x 1
Take a look through our Garden Booklet
Whilst Richard is the garden designer, there have been over 50 people directly involved in the creation of The Perennial Garden ‘With Love’, showcasing a fraction of the skilled jobs in horticulture that have come together from across the UK to create a such a spectacular main avenue garden.
Richard Miers Garden Design Richard has been supported by his own in-house team who have worked tirelessly, over many months, to ensure that this beautiful garden is brought to life. This includes Victoria Pease-Cox, garden designer, who has been integral to the realisation of the garden from its design, assisted by Emilia Michel Cano.
Landscaper Stewart Landscape Construction is the contractor responsible for the garden build and bringing Richard’s vision to life, led by Mark Richardson overseeing the construction team.
All the beautiful plants have been nurtured by Form Plants – a Perennial Platinum Partner – with a dedicated planting team, led by Rachel Sampson.
Creator of the exquisite ‘Connected’ sculpture seen in our garden.
Creator of the ‘Dancers’ sculpture in our garden and the smaller versions on sale at our trade stand.
Producers of the striking neon signs depicting a quote attributed to Alfred Lord Tennyson displayed in our garden and on our trade stand.
Creators of the wonderful semi-circular pond and central rill water feature.
Responsible for the bespoke, formed benches providing a place to sit and enjoy the experience.
Suppliers of the beautiful paving leading you through the garden.