Sarah Eberle to create floating river garden for Chelsea

Viking Cruises has announced it will be working with multi-award winning landscape designer Sarah Eberle, to design its RHS Chelsea Flower Show Artisan Garden in May next year.

Initial drawing of Sarah Eberle's Viking Cruises garden. Image: Supplied
Initial drawing of Sarah Eberle's Viking Cruises garden. Image: Supplied

The garden will aim to capture the colour, energy and local experiences along the Mekong river in South East Asia, including the floating gardens found in the area's silk-weaving regions.

The 7 x 5m garden will be built by Belderbos Landscapes. It will be entirely water-based, with a small deck leading to a 'floating' lounger styled on a traditional fishing boat.

Overhead a cantilevered parasol inspired by traditional fishing nets and silk weaving will provide shade. The floating beds follow the style of the region and will contain an eclectic mixture of fruit and vegetables such as spinach, kale, aubergine, gourds and okra, along with flowers for cutting within a waterside matrix. The dense floating plants found in the Mekong River will be represented by watercress. Vegetables and flowers will be grown by Jon Wheatley and water plants by Anglo Aquatics.

Eberle, a member of the Landscape Institute, has won numerous awards including eight RHS Gold Medals, including a Best in Show Chelsea 2007 and Best in Show at Hampton Court 2003.

Eberle said: "The Mekong is a fascinating river with an interesting horticulture. This garden give a taste for the adventures you can experience while travelling down the river and should offer visitors at Chelsea next year a moment to reflect on a different culture and way of life.

"Experiencing the mighty Mekong first hand has been a lifelong ambition, which Viking Cruises is helping me to fulfil when I travel down the river shortly to help fuel my creative process and to get under the skin of this incredible and diverse area."

Viking Cruises has sailed down the Mekong for several years on its Magnificent Mekong itinerary – forging links with groups and communities en route who have acted as inspiration for Eberle's design.

Wendy Atkin-Smith, managing director of Viking Cruises UK said: "The Mekong cruise is one of our guest's favourite journeys – as they look for adventure and to explore new experiences and cultures. This garden shows the best of what this compelling river has to offer and we are looking forward to seeing how Sarah incorporates her first-hand experiences from her upcoming cruise into the final production."

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