Grant Associates unveils Chinese-inspired garden design for Chelsea Flower Show

By Nick Batten on 4 June, 2021

Grant Associates, the international landscape architecture practice headquartered in Bath, has revealed a design concept for its show garden at the Chelsea Flower Show 2021 which aims to show how cities of the future must be considered as landscape cities.

‘The Guangzhou Garden: Guangzhou China’ takes inspiration from Guangzhou, a port city northwest of Hong Kong on China’s Pearl River. It will be Grant Associates’ first show garden for the Chelsea Flower Show, originally due to be delivered in 2020 before the pandemic led to the cancellation of last year’s event.

Known as ‘the city between mountain and water’, Guangzhou’s approach to environmental planning is based on the concept of ‘ecological civilisation’. Guangzhou has a distinct environmental plan which divides the city into three zones: social green space for people within the central business district (Heart); protected green spaces to the north (Lungs); and protected aquatic areas to the south (Kidneys).

Peter Chmiel, Director at Grant Associates, and Chin-Jung Chen, Senior Associate at the practice, aim to bring this concept to life at September’s Chelsea Flower Show event with their ‘Guangzhou Garden.’

The garden will be one of 12 key gardens planned for RHS Chelsea Flower Show in September 2021, which also includes Artisan, Sanctuary and Show Gardens. It is the first time in the show’s 108 year history that it will be held in autumn rather than spring.

Grant Associates is designing the ‘Guangzhou Garden’ on behalf of China-based culture project consultancy Creativersal and the main sponsor is the Administration of Forestry and Gardening of Guangzhou Municipality. The garden is being created in collaboration with garden design consultancy The Outdoor Room and nursery Kelways Plants. The bamboo structures are bring developed in partnership with Charlie Brentnall and Martin Self of Xylotex.

Peter said, “RHS Chelsea Flower Show is a terrific opportunity for us to reach a bigger audience with the important message that we need to think about our future cities as landscape cities that enable people and nature to come closely together. We hope visitors will leave the ‘Guangzhou Garden’ feeling uplifted and inspired about the possibilities for the future.”

Chin added, “We are delighted to now have the opportunity to unveil a design that’s been two years in the making for us – and are fortunate to have been working with a very experienced team on our journey to Chelsea. Devising the ‘Guangzhou Garden’ has been a truly collaborative creative process.”

The one-off autumnal RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2021 runs from 21st – 26th September.

Pictured above: An artist’s impression of the Guangzhou Garden