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  • Bradford garden centre provides plants for landmark Chelsea garden

    Tong Garden Centre has announced that it will source and supply plants for a unique installation at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show (21 – 25 May).

    Botanical designer Zosia Berkieta-Lewis was introduced to Tong Garden Centre by TV gardener Katie Rushworth, who recommended the centre for advice and plants for LAND, a multi-sensory installation space based on the concept that nature inspires creativity and increases wellbeing.

    LAND is a collaboration between Wakefield textile designer Laura Slater and founder of botanical studio The Plant Room, Zosia, who lives in Saltaire. The pair were invited to create an installation at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show on the back of their collaboration at the 2018 London Design Festival that featured their indoor garden and textile installation, engaging visitors with themes of nature, creativity and wellbeing.

    Tong’s Plant Buyer, Steve Smith has worked with Zosia to source plants for the garden that is inspired by Piet Oudolf’s naturalistic style and will reflect the print, colour and pattern of Laura’s textile collection, also called LAND. The planting includes grasses, Achillea ‘Terracotta’, Geum ‘Lemon Drops’, Cirsium tuberosum and Sanguisorba officinalis ‘Red Buttons’ to create prairie-style movement.

    Tong’s Marketing Manager, Jo Dales is delighted to support the project: “The benefits of gardens, gardening and wellbeing are well documented, so we’re thrilled to be able to help Zosia and Laura create an oasis of creative calm in the heart of the bustling show.

    “The space is designed to allow visitors to feel at ease with pausing. Unlike other gardens at Chelsea, people are invited into the garden and there will be seating and materials for people who would like to draw, inspired by the indigenous soft grasses and colour pops that bring the two practices of textile and botanical design together.”

    Commenting on Tong’s generosity, Mrs Berkieta-Lewis said: “Laura and I are delighted to receive Tong’s support and proud to include them among the many Yorkshire businesses who are collaborating to create this inspirational garden.”

    In addition to plants and textiles, LAND at Chelsea will feature sounds specially curated by Yorkshire sound artist, Alison Gilmour that will help people to focus when drawing and relaxing, plus pockets of a bespoke blend of natural essential oils from Essence + Alchemy that reflect the botanicals found in the Scottish landscape that inspired Laura’s textile designs.

    The RHS Chelsea Flower Show takes place in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, London from 21 – 25 May.