Chelsea 2023: Guide to Sarah Price's Nurture Landscapes Garden
Award-winning designer Sarah Price talks through the Chelsea garden that recreates the essence of Benton End, former home of artist Sir Cedric Morris
Designer Sarah Price is creating the Nurture Landscapes Garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2023. It is one of 12 main show gardens this year, including gardens from Cleve West, Tom Massey and Harris Bugg Studio.
Listen to Sarah Price on her Chelsea garden on our podcast
Don’t miss our guide to everything you need to know about the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2023 and our list this year’s main show gardens. Here's who won which medals.
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The late artist and plantsman Sir Cedric Morris and his home, Benton End in Suffolk, were the inspiration for Sarah’s show garden. “Cedric Morris was famous for his flower paintings and iris still lifes. You can see that he really understood the plants, but he was also an incredible gardener, who influenced Beth Chatto. He introduced 90 different cultivars of bearded iris,” says Sarah.
Sponsor Nurture Landscapes.
Theme The ‘lost’ garden at Benton End, former home of artist Sir Cedric Morris.
After the show Many of the materials and plants will find a new home at Benton End.
Benton End was a bohemian place, where Morris and his partner Arthur Lett-Haines hosted a painting school that tutored the likes of Lucian Freud and Maggi Hambling. Neglected for many years, it is now being restored by the Garden Museum, and Sarah is hoping to transfer some of its naturalistic spirit to Chelsea. “You can see that it had so much love,” she says. “I’m also taking inspiration from the plants that Cedric Morris bred – the moody grey poppies and irises with colours that are really hard to describe, such as copper, strange off-yellows and grey-purples. It’s really exciting to have that palette to compose with.”
Sarah was determined to make the show garden low carbon and sustainable. “The most pragmatic approach is to source locally, reuse and repair,” she explains. To this end, Sarah has sourced all of her materials, many waste or reclaimed, from an ‘imagined corridor’ linking the Surrey base of her contractor, Crocus, to the showground in Chelsea. Fittingly, many of the materials and plants will find a new home at Benton End after the end of the show.
What to look out for
1 Richly coloured, straw-cob walls echo the original pigmented plaster and bricks of the 16th-century house at Benton End.
2 A palette of pink, blue and yellow seen in two of Cedric Morris’ paintings (Cotyledon and Eggs, and The Eggs) offsets the complex tones of Morris’ Benton irises and his grey poppies.
3 Climbers supported by reclaimed timber and ropes frame views into and through the garden.
4 Features crafted from waste materials such as old brick, ash, glass, recycled plastic, oyster shell, hen shell, feathers and wood.
5 Saplings, grasses, dead wood and characterful trees hint at a semi-abandoned garden.
Find out more about Sarah's winning show garden design and her dream garden picks on the Talking Gardens podcast.
More on the 2023 RHS Chelsea Flower Show:
Chelsea Flower Show 2023: tickets, information, dates and what’s on
Chelsea Flower Show Main Show Gardens 2023: the full list
Chelsea Flower Show 2023: Balcony Gardens: the full list
10 essentials for visiting the RHS Chelsea Flower Show
Head to our Chelsea Flower Show hub page for all the latest coverage
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