City Living at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Introducing Kate Gould's garden 'City Living', which will be on display at the Chelsea Flower Show. 'City Living' is a creative exploration of ways that dull and grey urban buildings could be greened up to make attractive outdoor spaces for residents and nature corridors for birds and other wildlife.

Kate Gould’s garden ‘City Living’ will be on display at the Chelsea Flower Show later this month. City Living is a contemporary garden on several levels imagined in a typical urban apartment block. While these dwellings are often cold and slightly forbidding in appearance they could easily be transformed with the addition of attractive green outdoor spaces for residents use with comfortable and sheltered seating areas surrounded by appealing planting and tranquil water features.

This garden could be added to existing buildings or easily inserted into new builds to effectively ‘green up’ city spaces and provide valuable habitat for wildlife and birds. The garden is set on three levels with a mezzanine floor and is positioned directly adjacent to the dwellings making use of the space beneath and alongside the building, providing an interesting and ‘green’ route to and from the resident’s homes.

A stairwell clad with light transmitting concrete featuring cantilevered steps and a perforated metal screen provide stability to the structure whilst allowing light to filter down to the lower levels. This ensures each level can be effectively gardened and utilised 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 hard wood decking, luxury decorative tiles and a specialist light transmitting concrete which will be particularly eye catching when the garden is lit in the evenings.

The idea of greening up city spaces is one that is close to Kate’s heart. She has explored this theme twice before at the RHS Chelsea Flower shows in 2009 and 2013 receiving highly 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. This garden resonated with the public and RHS judges alike who awarded it a Gold Medal.

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