chelsea flower show garden

runnymede surrey magna carta 800th anniversary garden

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015 welcomed the ‘Runnymede Surrey Magna Carta 800th Anniversary Garden’. Paying tribute to the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta which was sealed at Runnymede in June 1215, the garden has been created by acclaimed designers Patricia Thirion and Janet Honour from ‘A Touch of France Garden Design’ and was sponsored by Surrey County Council, Kier Group and the runnymede-on-thames hotel and spa.

After the garden took its final bow at Chelsea having been awarded a bronze award, it has become a permanent installation in the hotel grounds and is freely available for the general public and local residents to visit. 

The garden is themed on the 1215 Magna Carta and the formal layout is evocative of gardens of the medieval period, featuring handmade wattle arches over turf benches, traditional roses and honeysuckle, wattle obelisks and raised beds with plant varieties that would have been available and used in 1215. A custom-made fountain takes centre stage surrounded by bespoke heraldic pennants created by the renowned embroider Rhoda Nevins, who was part of the team that embroidered the Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding dress.

The garden’s symmetry symbolises the law and order of the time and features a slice of yew tree trunk inscribed with ‘Law, Liberty and Legacy’ to relate to the Magna Carta, the slice of yew was donated by the National Trust and is symbolic of the Ankerwycke Yew, said to be nearing 2,000 years old, which grows close to the site where the Magna Carta was sealed and is set in a meadow-planted bed, remindful of the Runnymede meadows.

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