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Wuhan Inspires Chelsea Flower Show Garden

The theme garden that features Chinese culture at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018 has given visitors the experience of viewing the scenery of China’s Hubei province and observing the operation of water management system at the capital city--Wuhan.

The Wuhan Water Garden is designed by Laurie Chetwood, a renowned architect from London, and Patrick Collins, landscape architect. By merging the contrasting natural landscape of the province with the high-tech urban environment of the city, the inspiration had been turned into reality.

Besides celebrating its water-inspired culture, Wuhan Water Garden appeals for sustainable environmental development to protect nature.

Xiaoming LIU, Ambassador of China to the UK, and his wife joined other dignitaries at the Wuhan Water Garden opening ceremony on Monday in London. 

LIU said the garden’s philosophy reflected Chinese people’s sprit of pursing beauty and harmony.

“I think there are many commonalities between China and the UK in the pursuit of harmony between man and nature and this garden is a perfect example.”

The ideas of designing the garden draw on the experience from Wuhan’s flood control method that uses man-made canals and lakes to fill and empty based on the level of the river.

According to Chetwood, The Wuhan Water Garden is more about looking ahead, putting a system in place that can help Wuhan with flood prevention. 

He said the garden was a fantastic example of showing the sino-UK collaboration.

“Hundreds of years ago, adventurers went to China for exploration. They discovered these amazing plant seeds and brought them back to the UK.” Chetwood concluded that “Every garden in UK possesses original Chinese species at the first place.”

The exhibit was constructed using a modular grid system of parts that were prefabricated off-site to ensure an efficient build on Chelsea’s largest show-garden plot.

The journey around and through the garden aims to arouse all the senses: offering the sensation of “floating” on the walkway, the visual and tactile changes in color and texture in the forest and the city, the smell of the forest, the sounds of woodland birds singing, and of moving water. The garden also aims to diminish outside noise and use the visual effect of mirrored panels to create the feeling of stillness and density in the forest.

The garden contains about 75 different species and 5,500 plants that fall into three main categories: species that are native to China and Hubei province, species with a wide distribution across the Northern Hemisphere, including China, and Chinese species found widely in gardens.

Wuhan Water Garden is the second in a series of gardens representing Chinese cities that Creativersal, a leading company in cultural program planning, design, and investment, has sponsored at the show. The first was the Chengdu Silk Road Garden, which won the silver-gilt medal in 2017 for its representation of cooperation between China and the UK under the Belt and Road Initiative.


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