The Chelsea Flower Show has been on my career bucket list since I started, so when I was asked to be part of the RHS 2019 ‘Back to Nature’ garden, I jumped at the chance. This garden was co-designed by HRH The Duchess of Cambridge and landscape architects Andrée Davies and Adam White of Davies White Ltd. My role was to create a woodland walkway which saw many Royal feet – some of those little – in its first few days on display.
A timber walkway
The walkway was designed to blend into its natural surroundings. I used 170 reclaimed timber deck boards that had a natural weather beaten finish – they were taken from Southend Pier (supplied by Ashwells) and the framework and boards were all made in Cumbria, before being transported to the RHS site.
I really liked the feel of this garden – it was natural and imperfect – a place that everyone could relate to. It was inspired by memories of time in the outdoors, in nature. The timber walkway weaved through the garden past a hollow fallen log, waterfall, stream, and treehouse. Over 20 large trees and 2000 woodland plants framed the setting.
Testimonial: this project came from a personal recommendation from HRH Prince Charles, and I was contracted by landscape architects Andrée Davies and Adam White who said:
“We were delighted to involve Jonny Briggs in the RHS Back to Nature garden. His attention to detail and superb craftsmanship really added something special to the garden. Jonny’s contribution helped create a garden which has hopefully encouraged more families to get outdoors to play, explore, grow plants and connect with nature”
The garden has now moved to an NHS Mental Health Trust as part of the RHS’s partnership with NHS England, to promote the physical and emotional wellbeing that access to green spaces and gardening provides.
For more landscape garden inspiration, head to our landscape structures project page.