Louise and Spencer have finally (properly) broken up and Lucy thinks she will be the one to finally tame him…it’s all kicking off in Chelsea this week. Of course, we jest; the real action in Chelsea this week is green, is graceful, has the Royal seal of approval and is looking good for 100.
The Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show has begun its annual makeover of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, and East Village are proud to be one of the 500 exhibitors already beginning to amaze the expected 160,000 visitors over the next few days.
The East Village show garden is a masterclass in cultural and botanical fusion and excellence. Designed by the world-renowned landscape architects, Michael Balston and Marie-Louise Agius of Balston Agius, the dazzling space is a real celebration of the rich history and exciting future of our favourite patch of East London. The Show Garden emulates the shared vision between East Village and Delancey of a sustainable, thoughtful and environmentally conscious approach to modern habitats. To this end, the garden juxtaposes an ‘urban wall’ made of timber, glass and steel with huge expanses of dense shrubs, incredible mature trees and drifts of herbaceous plants.
The diverse history of East Village has not been forgotten, taking inspiration from the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and surrounding Lea Valley area. The garden features a series of leaf-shaped areas, expanses of lawns and a body of water meandering through the installation. This design reflects the curves and winding banks of the public and private gardens in East Village, along with the new landscape of the Queen Elizabeth Park itself, stunning long river, wetlands and curvaceous paths included. And talking of curves, who could forget the beautiful architecture of the Stadium, Velodrome and Aquatics centre, depicted also in the glass balconies adorning many of the East Village apartments.
Michael Balston was astounded by the huge expanses of green space available to residents of East Village and cited the pleasure the future residents would gain from such green wonders as a fundamental inspiration to the East Village Garden. Explaining his approach when designing, he said he was struck “by the attention that had been given to creating balconies, gardens, wetlands, orchards and parks that were full of plants, trees, colour and water.” The diversity of flowers and plants used to create such a rich horticultural palette in the East Village Show garden has also wowed those in the horticultural know, being crowned with a Gold award.
In true East Village style, the legacy of the Show Garden is paramount, and in partnership with Groundwork London, an environmental regeneration charity, much of the garden’s structures, plants and importantly spirit and ethos, will be relocated to Arc in the Park, an adventure playground in Newham. So if you miss your chance to take in the cultural history, architectural ingenuity and green splendour of the East Village garden at this year’s show, you’ll still be able to visit some of the award-winning plants and structures after the big move.