M&G commissions Harris Bugg Studio and Crocus to create its show garden at The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2020
M&G, the sponsor of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, has commissioned Charlotte Harris and Hugo Bugg of Harris Bugg Studio to design, and contractor Crocus to build, The M&G Garden for 2020’s Show.
By 2050 it is estimated that two-thirds of us will be living in cities or urban centres1. The M&G Garden 2020 is designed to be a shared haven of natural beauty and wildlife where we need it the most: the busy urban environment. Our aim is to inspire communities, architects and developers to improve the quality of life and health for city dwellers by creating sustainable green space in their plans. After Chelsea, The M&G Garden will be relocated to a community-led housing scheme.
The M&G Garden features plants and trees chosen for their tolerance to urban climate extremes of wet winters and hot summers as the backbone of the garden, interspersed with unusual and delicate planting to inject moments of ephemeral beauty. Structural planting includes the wild and naturalistic shapes and silvery leaves of Hippophae, or sea buckthorn, commonly used as windbreaks; bursts of colour from Nyssa sylvatica, or black gum tree; and the small fragrant tubular flowers and red edible berries of Elaeagnus umbellata, or autumn olive.
Water in the form of a naturalistic pool, surrounded by the intense violet-blue colour of the Iris sibirica, will aid run-off and flood prevention. Over 100 linear metres of metal sculpture – much of which has been reclaimed and reconditioned – will trace its way through the garden, echoing the transformation of a city’s industrial past. Created in collaboration with the architecture and design studio Mcmullan Studio, the bronze-copper colours and matte and gloss textures of the sculpture will contrast with the naturalistic elements in the garden of plants, trees and water.
As one of the leading investors in private and social communities in the UK, M&G believes that high standards of design and build quality, built-in sustainability and access to green space help create communities which enhance the lives of residents.
Charlotte Harris and Hugo Bugg, said:
“Our garden stands for creating beautiful, transformative and vital green spaces in the places we all need them most – our towns and cities. It is no longer enough for green spaces to be nice to haves – they’re as important in our urban infrastructure as transport or power.”
We believe that there is no corner too small, too unloved, or too battered that cannot be transformed into somewhere tranquil and restorative. As a practice, we make gardens that speak of the places that they are from – exploring different layers. Urban settings are rich with history and stories; in this shared garden space we have referenced an imagined industrial past in the materiality and design.”
1 Source: UN News 2018
M&G is one of the biggest providers of finance to the social housing sector, with around £6 billion of investment helping over 120 housing associations across Britain to develop homes and communities. We are also major investors in private residential homes, with a sector-leading approach to responsible property management. M&G’s recent ‘Rehearsal Rooms’ development of private rental homes in North Acton typifies our commitment to creating well-designed urban communities which help improve the quality of people’s lives.
M&G Investments is part of M&G plc, the FTSE-100 listed savings and investments business which manages over £341 billion in assets on behalf of its customers and policyholders.
This is M&G’s eleventh year as title sponsor of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, and its third year as sponsor of the RHS’s Greening Great Britain scheme to support communities.
Harris Bugg Studio
Harris Bugg Studio is an award-winning landscape design practice, led by Charlotte Harris and Hugo Bugg. The practice has projects located in the UK and Europe encompassing high-end residential, public, historic, protected and commercial spaces. Between them, Charlotte and Hugo have won four Gold medals, two Silver Gilts and Best in Show at RHS shows, including two Gold medals at Chelsea, a BALI award, and a Landscape Institute award for their pocket park in Vauxhall, London.
Current projects include: the revitalisation of the Grade 1 listed landscape at the National Trust’s Clumber Park, the redesign of the historic walled kitchen garden at RHS Bridgewater, and the design of the new glasshouse complex at Gothenburg Botanic Gardens, Sweden.
Listed as one of Country Life Magazine’s ‘Best Garden and Landscape Design Practices in Britain’ and called ‘pioneering design talents of their generation’ by the Royal Horticultural Society, their design aesthetic combines a rigorous consideration of the spirit of a place – its history, geology, land use, background – with bold geometry and beautiful planting. Exploring narratives and sensitivities that make the design of each space unique and weaving these into the garden is central to their work.
For the fourth year running, M&G is collaborating with Crocus, the multi award-winning nursery, contractor and gardening website. Crocus has won 28 Gold Medals at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, 11 Best in Show medals and two Best Construction medals.
Mcmullan Studio was founded in November 2018 by ex-Heatherwick Studio senior project leader, Andrew Mcmullan.
Based in London, the new studio was established to evolve the young British architect’s fresh and optimistic approach to design that has shaped award-winning projects in New York, Singapore, London and Shanghai for over 15 years.
The studio is working on a diverse range of projects and has won a number of significant commissions, including a 3.2ha waterfront regeneration project in Innsbruck, Austria.