Russian Designer brings Fresh Concept to RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Russian garden designer Tatyana Goltsova will be making a dramatic debut at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016, with The Imperial Garden: Revive, a conceptual ‘Fresh Garden’ which explores the complex relationships between Russia, Ukraine and the UK.

Imperial Garden Revive Illustrationt

Tatyana, who runs a successful garden design practice in Moscow, is the first Russian garden designer to exhibit in the ‘Fresh Garden’ category and only the second Russian designer to have created a garden at Chelsea.

The Imperial Garden: Revive, considers what could happen if politics was removed from the world and as humans we all took a step back and focussed more on what unites us all. This is explored through the analogy of two contrasting areas in the garden which move from a beautiful and natural area of wilderness through to a man-made, manicured and controlled space.  

Central to the garden is the symbolic theme of lace, which has a long tradition in the Slavic States and is dramatically represented throughout the garden by over 600 kilos of crafted aluminium lace, which weaves its way through to bring a unifying harmony to the two sides of the garden.

The two key focal points in the garden are the striking metal lace and an arching bronze figurative water feature “River of Time”.  Both have been created especially for Chelsea by Ukrainian Sculptor Victoria Chichinadze, who is also making her debut at Chelsea this year.  She has been working for over a year on producing the incredible aluminium and bronze sculptures to complement Tatyana’s design.

Victoria’s shinning aluminium lace begins its journey through the garden as tree trunks, which interweave up through the natural trunk of a large weather worn, multi-stemmed Yew tree, to then become part of the tree’s bow.  Within the tree canopy sits a clock which moves anti-clockwise, asking the viewer to take a moment to stop and reflect on what really matters most in life. The lace then continues its passage through the garden to climb up and over the bronze sculpture, before meeting the water and cascading down into a pond below. The lace then seemingly floats across the water, before wrapping around a green mound border to provide a swirling seating area.

Tatyana’s planting palette throughout the garden is restrained with the tightly clipped mounds of yew playing the lead role, supported by delicate pockets of herbaceous perennials including Astrantia, Alliums, Thyme, Ferns and the Rush, Equisetum hyemale.  The plants are being sponsored by the Lorberg nursery in Germany.

Speaking about the garden Tatyana said, “For me exhibiting at RHS Chelsea Flower Show has been a dream, which I have planned for over five years.  Chelsea provides a world stage to design a garden which is not just visually stunning, but which also enables me to express a deeper message about how we can “Revive” peace and harmony in the world, if we just stop looking at borders and our differences and instead reflect on the many synergies we all share as humankind.  The making of this garden is great example of the real harmony that can be achieved between different nations.  I am Russian, Victoria the sculptor is Ukrainian, our contractor is British and our trees and shrubs are from Germany.  We have all worked well together, united in our desire to create this beautiful space.”

For the garden build, Tatyana is working with triple RHS Gold medal winning UK contractors Gardenlink. Managing Director Dan said, “We are delighted to be involved in this exciting international garden which stood out as having the potential to be a very special garden.”

The garden’s sponsors, Imperial Garden Ltd is the largest garden centre in Russia.  Director General Igor Efimkin said, “One of our key business goals has always been to help Russian landscapers reach the highest levels in horticulture.  So we were delighted to be supporting Tatyana with this inspiring garden at what is undoubtedly the most prestigious flower show in the world.”

Following Chelsea the Imperial Garden: Revive, will be travelling back to Russia with Tatyana where it will appear at the Moscow Flower Show 1 – 10 July 2016. The Moscow Flower Show was launched in 2012, following the success of the first Russian designer to attend Chelsea, Karina Lazareva whose Courtyard Garden won a Gold Medal and Best in Show in 2007.  

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