Chelsea Flower Show 2014: No Man's Land by Charlotte Rowe

Preview of Show Garden by Charlotte Rowe  for Chelsea Flower Show 2014

Below our roving iphone reporter takes a look at one of the star show gardens on the main walk at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show.  Below is a little bit about the concept of the garden, developed by acclaimed garden designer Charlotte Rowe.  We’re also having a bit of fun predicting medals – so at the end of each post for indvidual show gardens, we’ll give you a MyGardenSchool prediction for how they will fair with the judges.  There is apparently a new judging system, so who knows whether what we pick will come true!

The No Man’s Land Show Garden

Award-winning garden designer Charlotte Rowe has created a show garden to mark the centenary of World War One for the British Army’s national Charity, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show. The garden is supported by private bank Coutts and global engineering and construction company, Bechtel.

Soldiers Charity Garden Chelsea Flower Show 2014

The Concept of The No Man’s Land Chelsea Flower Show Garden 2014

The ABF The Soldiers’ Charity Garden is a conceptual representation of the landscape of World War One. Entitled ‘No Man’s Land’, it is designed to serve as a poignant reminder of the challenges and hardships faced by soldiers 100 years ago, while highlighting the work of The Soldiers’ Charity today in helping soldiers, veterans and their families facing adversities.

Irises at Charlotte Rowe's Show Garden this year Chelsea Flower Show

Chris Parrott, a former soldier who suffered a serious head injury while serving in Afghanistan, helped build the garden after re-training as a horticulturalist with help of funding from ABF The Soldiers’ Charity.

 Charlotte Rowe, whose grandmother was awarded the Military Medal for Bravery in World War One, explains: “The garden reflects how the landscape of the Western Front, though changed forever, has regenerated and healed. This is a metaphor for the effect of war on the human body and spirit and its capacity to recover from the trauma of war.”

Charlotte Rowe Show Garden Chelsea Flower Show 2014

The design concept represents several elements of the landscape of the chalk downlands of the Somme where many WW1 battles were fought. These include:  A grass mound which refers to the Butte de Warlencourt an ancient burial mound held for most of the War by the Germans and which came to be seen as a symbol by the Allied forces of the menace of the Germans.

A water basin which represents the many deep circular mine craters which lie all over the Western Front and which now have become peaceful havens for plants and wildlife.

An area of mixed native and ornamental planting amongst limestone setts which represents the villages and towns which were destroyed or badly damaged during the conflict.  This ‘lost gardens’ area reminds us of the private gardens of the people living in those communities.

An excavated area below ground and a number of grass mounds which remind us of the trench and tunnel networks which ran through the area and which can still be detected today.

Chelsea Flower Show 2014 Show Gardens

A long feature wall along one boundary which was inspired by the many fortifications and pillboxes still found along the Western Front. The central plinth has a long slit which reminds us of the firing and viewing platforms in the trenches.

This is the first time that both Charlotte Rowe and ABF The Soldiers’ Charity have staged a show garden at RHS Chelsea. The Charity’s Chief Executive, Maj Gen (Ret’d) Martin Rutledge commented: “The garden offers the opportunity to reflect on the experience of soldiers during World War One, and reminds us of the hardships they endured. The title ‘No Man’s Land’ not only reflects the historic experience but also has resonance today. Today’s reality is that any soldier, veteran or family member can find themselves in a kind of ‘No Man’s Land.’ The Soldiers’ Charity exists to support them in those times of greatest need.

Sculpture at the Chelsea Flower Show 2014


The idea that soldiers can feel they are in a ‘No Man’s Land’ when they leave the Army is very powerful, especially if they leave as the result of injury or redundancy. We are seeing increasing demand for help with employment and training at the moment, and it is during this transition period we as a Charity are increasingly stepping in to help.”

Charlotte Rowe Garden Design Plan Chelsea Flower Show 2014


It's hard to predict winners at Chelsea, and especially now the judges have a new system of points (apparently).  But just for fun, MyGardenSchool are having a go at predicting medals based on what we know of the process.

Chelsea Flower Show 2014 Judge's verdict?   MyGardenSchool predicts..

[caption id="attachment_8337" align="alignleft" width="176"]Silver Medal Chelsea Flower Show Silver Medal Chelsea Flower Show[/caption]




Acer campestre

Allium nigra ‘Alba’

Anthriscus sylvestris

Aquilegia vulgaris var. stellata ‘Black Barlow’

Asarum europaeum

Astrantia ‘Large White’

Astrantia ‘Star of Beauty’

Astilboides tabularis

Betula nigra

Briza media ‘Limouzi’

Camassia quamash

Cardamine pratensis

Carex grayi

Chamaemelum nobile ’treneague’

Cenolophium denudatum

Cornus canadensis

Dryopteris filix-mas

Echium russicum

Epimedium pubigerum

Epimedium youngianum ‘Niveum’

Euphorbia cyparissias ‘Fens Ruby’

Euphorbia palustris

Fragaria vesca

Geranium phaeum ‘Samobor’

Geranium sanguineum ‘Album’

Geranium robertianum

Geum ‘Lemon Drops’

Geum ‘Mrs W. Moore’

Geum rivale

Gunnera magellanica

Iris species

Lolium perenne

Luzula sylvatica

Lysimachia atropurpurea ‘Beaujolais’

Matteuccia struthiopteris

Molinia caerulea arundinacea ‘Transparent’

Nectoscordum siculum

Onoclea sensibilis

Paeonia species

Papaver rhoeas

Phragmites australis

Potentilla palustris

Prunella vulgaris

Prunus avium

Rodgersia aesculifolia

Rodgersia pinnata

Rosa multiflora

Rosa canina ‘laxa’

Salvia pratensis

Sanguisorba menziesii

Sanicula europaea

Scirpus cernuus

Silene vulgaris

Sisyrinchium bermudiana

Sisyrinchium biscutella

Sparganium erectum

Taxus baccata

Tellima grandiflora

Thymus serpyllum ‘Album’

Trifolium incarnatum

Trollius cultorum species

Vicia cracca

Mixed species wild flower turf

May 2014

Stay inspired

Get FREE Gardening tips and ideas from our experts in your inbox.

You can unsubscribe at any time


Related posts

Our best selling courses

Trusted by our partners