Hugo Bugg and The Royal Bank of Canada Garden

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. 

The Royal Bank of Canada Garden was designed by Hugo Bugg and built by Landscape Associates & Himalayan Landscaping. The RHS judges awarded The Royal Bank of Canada Garden a Silver-Gilt Medal, at The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016. The Jerusalem pines, Pinus halepensis provided a great backdrop to the garden.
The Royal Bank of Canada Garden was designed by Hugo Bugg and built by Landscape Associates & Himalayan Landscaping. The RHS judges awarded The Royal Bank of Canada Garden a Silver-Gilt Medal, at The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016. The Jerusalem pines, Pinus halepensis provided a great backdrop to the garden.

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?

The startling red flowers of Adonis annua 'Scarlet Chalice', Papaver rhoeas and Papaver carmeli, mingle with Hordeum vulgare and Hordeum jabatum. The pretty white flowers of Crambe abyssinica add a little delicacy to this area of planting in The Royal Bank of Canada Garden at The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016.
The startling red flowers of Adonis annua ‘Scarlet Chalice’, Papaver rhoeas and Papaver carmeli, mingle with Hordeum vulgare and Hordeum jabatum. The pretty white flowers of Crambe abyssinica add a little delicacy to this area of planting in The Royal Bank of Canada Garden at The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016.

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?

The true blue of Anchusa azurea 'Dropmore', combines with Papaver rhoeas, Papaver carmeli, Foeniculum vulgare, Erodium gruinum, Asphodeline lutea, Melica altissima alba and Hordeum vulgare in The Royal Bank of Canada Garden at The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016.
The true blue of Anchusa azurea ‘Dropmore’, combines with Papaver rhoeas, Papaver carmeli, Foeniculum vulgare, Erodium gruinum, Asphodeline lutea, Melica altissima alba and Hordeum vulgare in The Royal Bank of Canada Garden at The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016.

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.

Lupinus pilosus is the rarest of the plants included in The Royal Bank of Canada Garden, which was designed by Hugo Bugg, for The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016. This rare, blue flowered lupin grows in Dibeen, an arid, dry area of Jordan. The beautiful plants and landscape that Hugo Bugg discovered on his visits to Jordan, provided the inspiration for this garden. In his Show Garden for The Royal Bank of Canada, Hugo hoped to demonstrate how beautiful drought tolerant plants can be.
Lupinus pilosus is the rarest of the plants included in The Royal Bank of Canada Garden, which was designed by Hugo Bugg, for The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016. This rare, blue flowered lupin grows in Dibeen, an arid, dry area of Jordan. The beautiful plants and landscape that Hugo Bugg discovered on his visits to Jordan, provided the inspiration for this garden. In his Show Garden for The Royal Bank of Canada, Hugo hoped to demonstrate how beautiful drought tolerant plants can be.
Lupinus pilosus was the rarest of the plants included in The Royal Bank of Canada Garden, which was designed by Hugo Bugg for The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016.
Lupinus pilosus was the rarest of the plants included in The Royal Bank of Canada Garden, which was designed by Hugo Bugg for The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016.

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.

In his design for The Royal Bank of Canada Garden, at The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016, Hugo Bugg celebrates water, not just as a commodity, but as a sacred entity for the world to savour, respect, celebrate and rejoice in.
In his design for The Royal Bank of Canada Garden, at The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016, Hugo Bugg celebrates water, not just as a commodity, but as a sacred entity for the world to savour, respect, celebrate and rejoice in.

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.

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. The triangles which feature predominantly in The Royal Bank of Canada Garden reflect the sacred geometry of water. All the geometry and all the mounds, have connections with one another, and with water.
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. The triangles which feature predominantly in The Royal Bank of Canada Garden reflect the sacred geometry of water. All the geometry and all the mounds, have connections with one another, and with water.

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.

Salvia algeriensis in The Royal Bank of Canada Garden, at The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016.
Salvia algeriensis in The Royal Bank of Canada Garden, at The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016.

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