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New Zealand Based Garden Designer Building A Major Show Garden At Chelsea Flower Show 2024

Nelson based designer, James Wheatley is set to build a Chelsea Flower Show feature garden that he has designed in collaboration with his father, Jon Wheatley. The garden build is scheduled to start in early May and will be situated on Main Avenue right under the BBC broadcasting hub. Completion is set for May 20th when the garden will be unveiled for the prestigious Press Day.

Marking the 60th anniversary of RHS Britain in Bloom, the ‘Friendship Garden’ commemorates and celebrates the relationships that form when people garden together in their communities. A strong emphasis is placed on sustainability and most of the plants are being grown by the design team. Recognising the importance of biodiversity, beehives and wildflowers will feature along with a nest like structure built from sustainable, repurposed timber. A structure that was inspired by a New Zealand artist’s sculpture seen on Waiheke Island.

Despite designing and building gardens in Nelson for the past 22 years, James is no stranger to major British gardening shows. He has built multiple award-winning gardens, securing gold medals at Chelsea, as well as various other renowned garden events and arts festivals. Past successes include a garden which won best in show at Gardening Scotland and an edible allotment garden that won best show garden at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show in Surrey. James and his father will also be building a garden at Hampton Court in July.

"I am thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase my work at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show. I started working on gardens with my father at the age of 12, which makes building such a prestigious garden even more special,” said James. "This year's garden is a reflection of our commitment to creating spaces that not only enhance the natural environment but also provide a sanctuary for people to connect with nature."

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