Cloudy Bay Chelsea Garden echoes New Zealand landscape

An echo of a landscape from the other side of the world was the effect landscape architects went for when creating The Cloudy Bay Discovery Garden for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

The Cloudy Bay Discovery Garden
The Cloudy Bay Discovery Garden

Gavin McWilliam and Andrew Wilson wanted to create the sense of scale found around the Marlborough region where sponsor Cloudy Bay wine is produced and settled on a ‘rough luxe’ theme.

The rammed earth walls of the garden feature are comprised of aggregate, finer particles, binding clay and a seam of river pebbles and reference the Marlborough terroir, the ground where the vines grow. The designers studied a soil sample from the area for inspiration.

The gravel is also used as a mulch throughout the planting areas and stream bed. Here the large boulders are Scottish gabbro used to imitate the boulders of the vineyard region. 

Wilson said the partners could not wait to get on site and set up for the show, which runs between 21 and 25 May.

"It’s exciting to see it all finally coming together. It’s been rewarding for Gavin and me to work with Cloudy Bay on their first Chelsea Garden.

"They have been supportive and interested in our design concepts throughout. We want to make it a great Chelsea debut for them."

Other Cloudy Bay features include the cantilevered deck with a floating pavilion roof which was inspired by the Cloudy Bay Shack at the vineyard and a stream inspired by the Wairau River.

The 2012 Lighting Designer of the Year Michael Grubb was responsible for the lighting elements, which included fibre optics on the stream bed to produce a sparkly effect.

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