Paper-inspired garden at Chelsea

Here is yet another Chelsea garden, this one the Basildon Bond Centenary Garden, commissioned for the 100th anniversary celebration of Basildon Bond, a well-known stationery products supplier in Britain. The theme is letter writing — with table chair, inky-blue-colored iris and other flowers, seen against a crisp bright white backdrop.

The all-weather paper wall also contrasts the Paperbark Maple (Acer griseum) growing through the table with its paper-thin peeling orange-red bark. Not being familiar with Basildon Bond, it did not occur to me that the theme was writing paper until I saw it in the program.

The white wall was too stark for my tateses, but I like the texture of it. Even faint breezes made the papers lightly rustle. I think it was made of the same material of which FedEx envelopes are made. This is one garden where I might have added some typography. I’m sure it was their conscience decision not to.

This was one of the seven “Artisan Gardens” at Chelsea, built in the park beside the football (soccer) field where the larger displays were. The crowds were most dense here, more dense than anywhere else during the show, because the pathways were narrow. You could easily get a good view of these gardens if you were patient and forgave other human beings for their ruthless pushing and shoving.

And is that papyrus I see?

I have a long-time garden blog, a popular garden on America's largest garden tour, and have co-written a book on garden design titled, "Buffalo-Style Gardens: Create a Quirky, One-of-a-Kind Private Garden with Eye-Catching Designs" When I'm not doing all that, I am an advertising designer always out looking to design things to promote your business. Look me up at #jcharlier.

0 comments on “Paper-inspired garden at Chelsea

  1. Anonymous

    I like the concept and use of 'paper' plants, and adore their creative use of sound in the garden, but have to admit, the white paper wall should have been toned down to a warmer color and softer appearance. I think they missed a design opportunity in their execution of the concept and the textural quality of the paper itself. I get a 'softer' sense of the material.


  2. Nice. I especially love the blue and white. I tried to pull off a blue and white bed, but failed.


  3. GWGT/Donna,I agree, I'd have rather seen the paper in an earth-tone colors and cut or torn in a ragged pattern rather than the sever-looking squared and cut edges. Mad Cow,Blues and whites look very crisp (and nautical!). In my own garden, I've tried to avoid white. But even that hasn't worked out too well.


  4. Pretty good post! I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I'll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.


  5. What beautiful white feature walls! And something so few would ever think of but works stunningly 🙂 – Cathy Pieroz at Ray White Alexandra Hills


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