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RHS Garden For A Green Future

Form Plants RHS Garden for a Green Future

This year Form Plants were honoured to be a part of RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival 2021, with our RHS Garden for a Green Future.


About the garden

The purpose of the garden is to draw attention to the ever-important topic of climate change and the impact that this will have on the future of British gardens. With so many extreme weather events in the news it is time to start thinking about how we can be more adaptable with our garden designing.

The garden demonstrates how we need to be looking at more versatile ways of planting. We used durable plants that can easily cope with the changing weather conditions we are facing. Chosen for their resilience, they were all selected from our own nursery. They included plants like field maple (Acer campestre), pride of India (Koelreuteria paniculata) and bear’s breeches (Acanthus mollis).


The hope for the garden is to inspire others to experiment with more resilient and adaptable planting and move away from the more cropped and clipped garden style.

Our garden has sweeping landforms throughout. The tops of the mounds have an abundance of tough perennials with a meadow texture. Between the mounds are arid “rivers” of cobbles, shingle and pebbles, which fill with water during winter flooding.

As you move down the mounds towards the edge of the pool in the centre, the perennials change to more wet-tolerant species. This central pool is a feature we expect to see in our future gardens, capturing water from the downfalls to store for the drought periods. As Jamie Butterworth, Managing Director of Form Plants, says, “We need to adapt to the changes that are happening in our climate rather than fight against them.”


Looking to the future

We see the future of garden designing to be a more organic process. Don’t fight nature; it is time to move on from that manicured grass and perfect planting. Look at meadow species that are more nature-friendly, and embrace the imperfection of these species. Multi-stem trees create dappled shade as well as structure. Consider plants that have more than one purpose. Herbs and other edible planting are a great way to enhance your own garden and enjoy some home-grown produce.

Think about the sustainability of your garden. What environmental impact will the building of your garden have? For example, when building our RHS Garden for a Green Future, we repurposed the materials dug out when forming the gullies to construct the sweeping landforms, instead of bringing in fresh soil. There are also plenty of recycled materials that you can now use in your garden construction, like the recycled crane pads we used when installing the decking.


For advice about plants that will flourish and adapt, contact us at Form Plants. Even better, come and visit. We offer a wide range of specimen trees, shrubs and hedging in relaxed surroundings, with knowledgeable staff ready to help.

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