City Living: Kate Gould's garden design for RHS Chelsea Flower Show

City Living: Kate Gould's garden design for RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Apartment blocks are the main form of housing in big cities and the obvious thing they lack is greenery. Garden designer Kate Gould has put her thinking cap on and designed a solution

City Living could make urban environments infinitely more pleasant

Kate Gould's City Living garden will be on display at this year's RHS Chelsea Flower Show. It's set on three levels with a mezzanine floor and Kate's intention is to show how city living doesn't have to mean holing up in a concrete jungle, rather the city can be a greener and more pleasant land for everyone.

City Living is a contemporary garden on several levels imagined in a typical urban apartment block.

While these blocks are often look cold and slightly forbidding, they could easily be transformed with the addition of attractive green outdoor spaces for residents' use, with comfortable, sheltered seating areas surrounded by abundant plants and calming water features. The City Living garden could be added to existing buildings or incorporated into new builds to effectively ‘green up’ city spaces - provide valuable habitat for wildlife and birds.

 
Viewed from a side on angle..City Living green space for apartment blocks
City Living could be added to existing apartment blocks
The garden you'll see at Chelsea (if you can get a ticket..) is set on three levels with a mezzanine floor and is positioned directly adjacent to the imagined apartment block, making use of the space beneath and alongside the building, providing an interesting and ‘green’ route to and from  residents' homes. A stairwell clad with light transmitting concrete featuring cantilevered steps and a perforated metal screen provide stability to the structure while allowing light to filter down to the lower levels. This ensures each level can be effectively gardened and used for recreation. Green walls and a water feature are incorporated into the scheme to add a sense of tranquillity and movement.
 
The hard landscaping will include sustainably sourced hardwood decking, beautiful decorative tiles and the special light transmitting concrete will be particularly eye-catching when the garden is lit up at night.
 
The idea of greening up city spaces is close to Kate’s heart. She's explored this theme twice before at the RHS Chelsea Flower shows, in 2009 and 2013, receiving coveted Gold medals on both occasions, as well as a ‘Best in Category’ for her 2009 ECO Chic Garden. Her 2013 Show Garden ‘The Wasteland’ transformed an abandoned industrial site into a public garden, reusing the old structures and waste materials found within. 
 
Chelsea Flower Show runs from 23-27 May. Visit rhs.org.uk/chelsea for more information
 

 

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