Award-winning garden designer James Basson draws on the ecological diversity of Malta to create a garden for M&G Investments at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017
M&G Investments, title sponsor of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show has commissioned award-winning landscape designer James Basson as its garden designer for next year.
Taking inspiration from the unique Mediterranean landscape of Malta, the design for the M&G Garden 2017 draws on the ecological diversity and sustainability of the region, which acts a microcosm for the planet as a whole.
Malta has made significant inroads into dealing with its ecological challenges, such as scarcity of water, the need to recycle and composting: challenges that we all need to consider to protect the environment.
To bring this story to life, James has structured the garden within a quarry, each with its own ecology, from coastal to woodland. Two imposing monolithic pillars of Maltese limestone will form the centrepiece of the garden, with the remaining space separated into a series of unique microclimates.
Each space will reflect how nature has adapted to reclaim a man-made landscape, using a naturalistic planting style which provides texture and structure. From grasses, heathers and evergreens, the design bears all the hallmarks of a traditional Mediterranean garden, but with an innovative edge. This is the first time some of these plants will have been seen in the UK, thanks to the Maltese government giving James special permission to use them.
There will be some specific plants that are unique to Malta, showing off the incredible diversity of its ecologiesa: Euphorbia melitense, Darniella melitense, Limonium melitense, Mattiola incana subsp. Melitense. There is a strong amount of yellow and this is the predominant colour in the flowering plants in Maltese spring time.
James Basson, garden designer says:
“I am delighted to be working with M&G Investments to bring this garden to life. For ‘The M&G Garden’, I want to capture the principles of ecological sustainability and the urgent need for action to preserve the fragile balance of our planet. Designing for M&G has so far been a hugely enjoyable experience and I will be working with a fantastic team this year to bring the vision to life.”
Basson returns to RHS Chelsea following his gold award-winning Provence garden at RHS Chelsea in 2016. He will be working with Crocus who have won 23 Gold Medals at Chelsea and 8 Best in Show awards in the last 11 years and with the support of the Gaia foundation in Malta, Filippi (France), CIancavare (Italy), Gaudissart (France) and Kelways (UK).
Jacqui Haskins, M&G Marketing Director says:
“2017 will be our eighth year as title sponsor of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and we’re thrilled as ever to be supporting this prestigious event. Sponsoring RHS Chelsea for this many years has enabled M&G to make a real difference in horticulture, particularly in helping to inspire more young people to get in to gardening. ‘The M&G Garden’ is a symbol of sustainability and solutions that stand the test of time, themes that reflect M&G Investments’ own approach. We are confident that James’ creative design will once again create a show-stopping garden for all to enjoy.”
2017 is M&G’s eighth year as the title sponsor of RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
The RHS Chelsea Flower Show runs from 23-27 May 2017.
James Basson MSGD – Biography
Working in the South of France for over 16 years James Basson, B.A. Hons Garden Design, MSGD, and Scape Design have established a reputation for creating low maintenance, dry gardens that mix contemporary design with traditional skills.
Creating timeless sustainable landscapes that are sympathetic to the natural environment, using young plants that are compatible with the native climate and soil, requiring little maintenance.