The Royal Bank of Canada Garden was designed by Hugo Bugg and built by Landscape Associates & Himalayan Landscaping.
In his design for The Royal Bank of Canada Garden, Hugo Bugg celebrates water, not just as a commodity, but as a sacred entity for the world to savour, respect, celebrate and rejoice in. Hugo was inspired by the plants growing in Dibeen, an endangered pine mediterranean habitat in Jordan. Taking his inspiration from the plants and landscape he discovered in Dibeen, Hugo spent two years planning this Show Garden, making a number of trips to Jordan to really understand and immerse himself in the plants and the landscape, sourcing seed from Levantine countries, in order to grow authentic, beautiful, drought tolerant plants for The Royal Bank of Canada Show Garden. Highlighting the work undertaken by the Royal Bank of Canada Blue Water Project, this Show Garden demonstrates that if you use the right plants, you can create a beautiful, sumptuous garden, that requires only minimal rainfall and no additional irrigation.
I caught up with Hugo Bugg at The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016, to find out more about The Royal Bank of Canada Garden and its celebration of water.
B: Hello Hugo, I know a lot of the plants that feature in your garden were grown from seed. I wondered who supplied and grew the plants for your garden?
HB: Hortis Loci supplied the plants, and we had an amazing lady called Marie Christopher, she was the propagator, she propagated all of the plants as well.
B: Did you manage to get all the plants that you wanted from Jordan?
HB: Yes, the pine trees were quite hard to find, but we did find them. We got what we wanted, yeah.
B: So which are the rarest plants in your garden?
HB: The lupins at the front.
B: Do you have a favourite area of your garden?
HB: No, not really, I just love the view of it, I think it works really well together.
B: Which is your favourite view of the garden?
HG: Standing at the end, looking through, you can see the water and the plants.
B: Can you tell me about the triangles? What’s the inspiration?
HB: So the triangles, it’s all related to the water, and the sacred geometry of water, I’ve been doing a lot of research into the cultural and historical connections with water. The middle water feature is an icosahedron, which is the platonic solid plato associated with water. All the geometry and all the mounds, they’ve all got connections with one another around and about water, it gives it quite a dynamic link together, and then all the planting is like a Jordanian landscape, inspired by the pine forests.
B: I love that you’ve created your garden around water and how important and precious it is, as so many people take the luxury of water for granted.
HB: They do.
B: Do you have a favourite garden other than yours?
HB: I haven’t really looked around long enough, I’ve been so engrossed in the build. I’ll try and get around tomorrow and have a look.
B: What will happen to the garden after The RHS Chelsea Flower Show ?
HB: We’re actually rebuilding it in Guernsey, it’s going to be rebuilt at Les Cotils, a charitable centre based in Guernsey, where it’s going to be taken piece by piece.
B: So will this garden go on to be a centrepiece of a new garden?
HB: Yes, it will be.