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B&Q Garden takes top prize at Chelsea

The Royal Horticultural Society today awarded a gold medal to B&Q's edible garden entry at the Chelsea Flower Show.
Designed by award-winning designers and three time gold medal winners Laurie Chetwood and Patrick Collins, the vertical window boxes of the entirely edible garden stand at nine metres tall, the highest garden ever constructed at Chelsea.
The judges were impressed by the scale and content of the garden, handing out the top award to B&Q's edible effort.

The impressive garden was opened yesterday by Gwyneth Paltrow, who has a vested interest in the 'grow your own' philosophy thanks to a chapter in her new cookery book 'Notes From My Kitchen Table' on cultivating fruit and vegetables.
Gwyneth posed in front of the towering structure - a glass high-rise-like building complete with window boxes full of vegetables.

B&Q celebrity ambassadors Kirstie Allsopp and George Clarke and TV presenter Lorraine Kelly also made an appearance.
B&Q say that the garden aims to showcase how everyone can grow their own food, however large or small their outdoor space.
'From vertical window boxes filled with herbs an to habitats for animals, the garden was intended to be a sanctuary for wildlife and a feast for visitors,' they said.

Of the garden, Lorraine Kelly said: 'Encouraging more and more people to grow their own, whatever space they have, is good news for the health of the nation and our planet. 'The fact that the garden has been grown with involvement from youth clubs, school children and employees as well as the experts shows that we can all have a go at growing our piece of the Good Life whatever age you are and whether you’re a gardening expert or a complete beginner.'

Over 21 days a 25 strong team worked on creating B&Q's garden, planting trees, plants and flowers, laying paving and installing the tower structure.

The vertical planted window box structure is a main feature of the garden, which showcases sustainable energy with Photo Voltaic solar panels, a wind turbine and a thermal chimney over a vertical greenhouse to demonstrates propagation techniques.
A galvanised steel staircase rises through the centre of the tower with a VIP viewing platform created to allow a closer look at the planting.

Experts in vertical gardening, Biotecture, created the tower by planting a selection of five different herbs in a linear format rising upwards.

Source : Deborah Arthurs - Mail online

24 May 2011
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