The Savills and David Harber Garden, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Garden Designer, Andrew Duff, sculptor David Harber, and Estate Agents Savills have worked together to produce a Show Garden for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019.  This garden was created with a shared desire to demonstrate how to add useful and effective, natural beauty to improve urban areas by creating sustainable woodland gardens.  The Savills and David Harber Garden comes complete with all the features that we look for in a beautiful garden, including: a pond, specimen trees, plants, and sculpture.

When I spoke to Andrew Duff, at Chelsea, he was full of praise for landscaper Dan Flynn and Gardenlink, a Surrey based, award-winning landscape and construction company that built the David Harber and Savills Garden, at Chelsea.

The Savills and David Harber Garden has been designed as a green solution for an urban area. The trees, plants, and grasses, in this garden have all been chosen for their ability to remove pollutants from the air.

The overall feel that you get from the Savills and David Harber Garden is of one of calm.  I relished the tranquil feeling that this garden offered.  Designer, Andrew Duff, has achieved this with his planting, and design, to create the enclosed, safe space we see before us.  The elements of the garden are all in harmony with each other, there are no distractions, no jarring, no ‘look-at-me’ features.

The Savills and David Harber Garden was designed by Andrew Duff. This show garden was endorsed by the Environmental Change Institute, part of the University of Oxford. The Savills and David Harber Garden was built by Gardenlink, for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019.

Soothing green is the colour of the Savills and David Harber Garden.  The new, full size leaves of late springtime are a revelation.  Each year it’s such a joy to see leaf green again!  Andrew Duff has capitalised on this joy in his planting.  The hornbean (Carpinus betulus) trees in this garden have been chosen, as the Environmental Change Institute found them to absorb more pollution than other trees, making hornbeams the perfect choice of tree for an urban environment.  The Savills and David Harber Garden also features: Acer campestre, Alnus glutinosa, Corylus avellana ‘Aurea’, Mespilus germanica, and Taxus baccata; all chosen for their tolerance of pollution.

A look at the seating area in the Savills and David Harber Garden, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019. The Carpinus betulus tree at the back, was chosen for the garden, as the Environmental Change Institute found that this tree removed more pollutants from the air than other trees.

The Savills and David Harber Garden is planted predominantly with plants are suited to growing in available pockets of land in city centres.  Adding the most transformative plants, to add height, so as to cover the grey of urban areas with green leaves, to soothe the space.  While buttercups and cow parsley add subtle sunshine-yellow and white, floral highlights.

Sculptor, David Harber, pictured next to Nyneve – the sculpture that David created especially for the Savills and David Harber Garden, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019. When David Harber was designing Nyneve, he took his inspiration from leaves and their ability to clean and purify our environment.

The pond features a 3.5m (11.5ft) shard like sculpture, which was created by David Harber to represent a glimmer of sunlight shining in a forest glade.  While, a series of leaf-like sculptures actually move, sweeping out of the water, almost like fishes leaping with the waves.  David Harber created this sculpture to add interest to the water, to represent the life that exists in healthy, plant-rich urban areas.

The Savills and David Harber Garden featured a green wall, planted to filter pollutants from the air.  While, the poolside plants filter grey water.  The clean water is then collected and stored for later use, to water the garden’s plants, in dry weather.

The green wall in the Savills and David Harber Garden is planted with: Carex divulsa, Geranium robertianum, Hedera helix, Carex pendula, Asplenium trichomanes, Polystichum aculeatum, Polystichum setiferum ‘Proliferum’, and Asplenium scolopendrium.
A closer look a the ferns and other UK native plants that were planted in the green wall, in the Savills and David Harber Garden, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019.

The Savills and David Harber Garden serves to remind us that unloved spaces in urban areas can be totally transformed, from dull grey, to calm, soothing green, using trees and plants, and including ponds and other features that will benefit gardeners, wildlife, and the environment.

Singer Natalie Rushdie, pictured during her performance in the Savills and David Harber Garden, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019.
Taxus baccata domes, pictured in the Savills and David Harber Garden, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019.
A closer look at the pond, in the Savills and David Harber Garden, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019. There aren’t many flowers in this garden, it’s a predominantly green garden. You can just see a few yellow Iris flowers among the pond planting.
Anthriscus sylvestris, also known as cow parsley, in the Savills and David Harber Garden, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019.
Garden designer, Andrew Duff, and sculptor, David Harber, pictured together in the Savills and David Harber Garden, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019.
Singer Natalie Rushdie, pictured at the opening of the Savills and David Harber Garden, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019.
Singer Natalie Rushdie, pictured with garden designer, Andrew Duff, at the opening of the Savills and David Harber Garden, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019.
The Savills and David Harber Garden features a wetland area, which was created to filter and clean grey water. There’s also a central pond, which will attract wildlife to the area. Pictured at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019.

This article was first published in the July 2019 edition of Vantage Point Magazine.

Other articles that may interest you……………..

To see an overview of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019, please click here.

To read about the Welcome to Yorkshire Garden that was inspired by the Huddersfield Narrow Canal, that Mark Gregory designed for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019, please click here.

To read about the fragrances of the new roses launched at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019, please click here.

To see photographs of the top twenty shortlisted plants, including the finalists and the winner of the RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year Competition, please click here.

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