Iconic Beatles album cover brought to life at Chiswick House and Gardens

Clifton Nurseries reprise role in original 1960s photoshoot.

The complete installation. Image: © Apple Corps Ltd
The complete installation. Image: © Apple Corps Ltd

Clifton Nurseries has teamed up with Chiswick House and Gardens to add an installation celebrating 50 years since the release of the Beatles' most famous album

The Maida Vale nursery contributed flowers to the shoot for the iconic album cover to Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, which was released 50 years ago on June 1.

Now it is bringing the cover to life at Chiswick House and Gardens, where Clifton parent company Gavin Jones is the contractor partner, as part of the Chelsea Fringe Festival, which runs until June 4.

Chiswick House and Gardens (CHGT) also has a Beatles connection, appearing on the band's 'Paperback Writer' and 'Rain' videos

Director at CHGT Clare O’Brien, said "As The Beatles have a long standing connection to the gardens, it’s wonderful to host this anniversary celebration for many visitors to enjoy.

The Clifton’s team wanted to focus on the lesser known story from the album cover – the origin of the flower bed. The much discussed and speculated photoshoot contains all manner of subtle details and imagery from popular culture at the time, however the flowers, supplied by Clifton Nurseries in March 1967, were simply the result of a last minute phone call, asking for whatever flowers the nursery had on the day.

Shortly after the phone call was made, the Clifton’s delivery boy turned up on his bicycle armed with a range of hyacinths and peperomia plants for the raised plant bed. An unexpected feature was then introduced last minute when the Clifton’s delivery boy asked if he could make a guitar shape with yellow hyacinths, one of the many random additions that made the final cut.

The figures of the Beatles themselves have been recreated by Agrumi, using a wire framed structure and covered in New Zealand Moss.

Director Stanley Jackson said: "Our principal topiary sculptor loved the brief of retaining the iconic elements of the image and set to work creating the steel armatures around which the topiary is formed."

Chiswick House and Gardens and Gavin Jones together won the Best Gardens Partnership at last year's Horticulture Week Custodian Awards.

For tickets to this year's event click here. The award ceremony, which celebrates the very best in parks, gardens, grounds and tree care, is this year co-located with a brand new event, Parks and Gardens Live, curated by HorticultureWeek technical editor Sally Drury, which features live kit demonstrations, expert advice and need-to-know workshops. See here for more information.  


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