A rainy day in Manchester might not seem particularly inspiring to some, but Bea Tann found a way to channel the weather in her hometown into a lush garden for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
Her Enchanted Rain Garden, also inspired by woodland and woodlands, will open to the public on May 24th.
It is designed to thrive in wet conditions and Ms Tann, who works in landscape architecture, used native ferns, commonly found in woodland, for her display, adding that she has “chosen hardy plants which will not be trampled or battered by stormy weather”. .
“They hold the raindrops really well even when the rain has stopped and I think it just looks great.
“We get more rainy days than sunny days in Manchester, so there’s no point in creating this idyllic Manchester garden that looks all nice and sunny and with lawns, because that’s just never the case. I thought of forests and forests as places that look beautiful in the rain.”
The RHS description of Ms Tann’s garden reads: “The overall narrative and design evokes the spirit of Britain’s northern cities, harnessing the magic of a rainy environment and speaking more practically of the increasing regularity of stormy weather we are experiencing as a result of climate change are confronted with.”
The Enchanted Rain Garden is part of the balcony and container garden category, making its second appearance at the Chelsea Flower Show after Brits got a green thumb in every little outdoor space they’ve had during the pandemic.
Gemma Lake, RHS Shows Manager said: “The Balcony and Container Gardens were such a hit at last year’s show that we had to have them back for 2022.
“The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is about helping everyone garden, even if you have almost no outdoor space at home… We’re delighted that there are so many new gardeners in the UK, as people personally are the have experienced positive benefits that plants can have not only on the way they make us feel, but also on the environment and wildlife.”
She added, “The category brings a new perspective to gardening and shows that an expansive outdoor space isn’t necessary to get a green thumb.”
Tann, who at 22 is the youngest person to take part in the flower show this year, believes the ‘balcony and planter’ category is a welcome addition.
“Being young and [knowing] Whatever gardens people have, especially in a city center, I was really interested in doing container gardens, especially because a lot of people rent and you can take these containers and put them anywhere.
“The thing about the container and balcony gardens is that while some of the larger ones look so beautiful, they’re actually doable, but you just think, ‘I could never have that in my garden.’ With a container garden, you could just take one element and easily plant it at home.”
The Balcony and Container category will also feature the Cirrus Garden by Jason Williams, known as the Cloud Gardener after turning to gardening on his 18th floor balcony in Deansgate, Manchester to help his sanity during to improve the pandemic.
In the end he transformed his balcony with 100 containers. Partially inspired by the color of cirrus clouds at sunrise and sunset, Williams’ Chelsea Flower Show garden focuses on biodiversity in urban areas while creating a tranquil setting.
The Chelsea Flower Show takes place from Tuesday 24th to Saturday 28th May.