Royal Hospital landscaping opens up views for Chelsea Flower Show

Trees on Royal Hospital Way at the north of the Chelsea Flower Show site have been felled and the area relandscaped to open up the show site to the hospital where the Chelsea pensioners live, so they can see down to the river.

c. Hectic Electric
c. Hectic Electric
The scheme is part of £1.3m of work and allows two more show gardens to be built at that site.
Alan Titchmarsh was involved in the initial design phase as a commissioner of the hospital.
The project involved restoration of South Terrace to its original C17th design intention, removal of trees and shrubs along the southern boundary, regrading and relaying of paths and terraces; introduction of formal soft landscape elements, repair of steps, repainting of railings and gates. Introduction of pedestrian gate either side of double gate for maintenance only on southern boundary, replacing below ground cisterns for water storage, and removal of external access stair to south-east facade of the Royal Hospital.
Screening shall be in place for the extent of the Chelsea Flower Show to mask the back of trade stands.
Designer is George Carter and contractor is Willerby.
The scheme is being paid for from funds ring-fenced for the renovation of hospital buildings and grounds, that were generated by the sale of the lease of a property on the Royal Hospital Chelsea site.  A RHC representative said: "It therefore has not impinged on the RHC’s daily running costs to offer a home and care to the Chelsea Pensioners."


The restoration of the large area of its grounds is designed to be in keeping with Sir Christopher Wren’s original vision for the site.


Carter developed the plans for the Royal Hospital’s South Terrace to once again ‘act as a plinth’ on which the Grade I listings buildings are set, opening up views of the 300-year-old heritage site.


The work involves redeveloping the South Terrace and an area of the gardens to allow the buildings to have clear and open views both to and from the banks of the River Thames, as Wren originally intended. 


Unsympathetic landscaping during the 19th Century caused views of the Royal Hospital to be obstructed for several decades, and its redesign forms just one part of a renovation programme of the Royal Hospital’s estate that has included the refurbishment of the Long Wards housing the Chelsea Pensioners, which were completed in October 2015.


Titchmarsh said: "Having presented the Chelsea Flower Show for 30 years against the stunning backdrop of Sir Christopher Wren’s Royal Hospital, I am delighted and excited that the Hospital has had the vision to appoint award winning garden designer George Carter to restore the South Terrace. 


"I can’t wait to see how fabulous it will be, opening up views of these magnificent buildings, set off by sweeping lawns with clipped pyramids of yew and a row of boxed lime trees peeking above a new yew hedge."


Paul Hatt, secretary and acting chief executive officer of the Royal Hospital, said: "We are very pleased with the support our application has received from many eminent UK conservation bodies and of course RBK&C planning and conservation officers and councillors and our most knowledgeable Commissioner on this topic, Alan Titchmarsh. 


"We are required to protect and preserve the historic nature and fabric of the site, and we are convinced that this scheme will restore the setting of this important heritage site for future generations."


In addition to the landscaping alterations, the Royal Hospital will change the paths on the South Terrace to sealed gravel to ensure that all areas of the grounds are accessible to Chelsea Pensioners (including those using mobility scooters or wheelchairs). 



Meanwhile, show garden designers for Chelsea 2015 now include Charlie Albone with Husqvarna and Sam Ovens who replaced the Rich Brothers at Cloudy Bay. Rosy Hardy will design for Brewin Dolphin.

Anne Marie Powell and Philip Johnson are designing show features.

Other designers involved include Andy Sturgeon, Cleve West, Hugo Bugg and Jo Thompson.


Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

IoG Saltex 2016 - show preview

IoG Saltex 2016 - show preview

This year's Saltex will be looking to build on the success of last year by packing in a multitude of exhibitors and sessions over the two days, Sally Drury reports.

According To Dunnett ... Horticulture needed to 'colour in' green infrastructure

According To Dunnett ... Horticulture needed to 'colour in' green infrastructure

It's now around one year since work started on Sheffield's groundbreaking "Grey to Green" scheme, one of the largest urban green infrastructure projects in the UK.

Tree lifting, moving  and planting

Tree lifting, moving and planting

Successful relocations can see even big trees flourish while costing less than buying new stock, says Sally Drury.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Contracts & Tenders

Sally Drury on professional gardening

Sally Drury

A monthly checklist of things to do and watch out for to keep your garden looking its best.