It’s taken a whopping 8 tonnes of Scarborough sand, 11 tonnes of Yorkshire chalkstone, 9 tonnes of sandstone, and 2 tonnes of Flamborough pebbles to create our most ambitious RHS Chelsea garden yet.
The amazing Welcome to Yorkshire garden opens at RHS Chelsea today. It features a cliff, a real beach with a gently lapping sea, a spectacular abbey ruin, and more than 3000 coastal trees and plants thriving in the heart of the capital.
Leeds-based garden designer Tracy Foster has taken inspiration from Yorkshire’s stunning coastline for the beach scenery, adding the county’s iconic drystone walls and historic ruins to complete the vision.
With the help of local schoolchildren, Tracy borrowed* pebbles from Flamborough South Landing to create a real Yorkshire beach complete with a fishing boat and lobster pots.
At 36 square metres, the sea takes up around a third of the 20.5x10 metre garden and is powered by a bespoke movement creating machine.
The 11 tonnes of chalkstone for the beach cliffs is genuine Flamborough rock, sourced from a quarry in Huggate near Beverley that’s part of a geological seam which breaks out at Flamborough Head.
A trompe l’oeil mural by Knaresborough-based artist Julie Cope decorates the ruined abbey, its 3D effect depicting a rural scene through the stone archway and highlighting the county’s passionate food heritage.
As part of today’s garden launch, Michelin-starred Yorkshire chef Andrew Pern will be unveiling a special three-course menu using an array of ingredients that are either represented in the garden or can be found growing there. His recipes will go live on the Welcome to Yorkshire website on Monday morning.
Sir Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “We are very excited about this year’s creation for Chelsea, our beautiful garden represents Yorkshire’s rugged countryside, iconic buildings and thriving food industry.
“Tracy has designed a show-stopping garden, bringing the beauty of Yorkshire to life in the heart of the capital. We know visitors will love the scene and want to come to Yorkshire to experience our county’s astounding beauty and produce for themselves.”
Garden designer Tracy Foster said: “The Welcome to Yorkshire garden has been a joy to create, our county has a wealth of inspirational natural beauty, history and industry.
“The plants, buildings and landscape of Yorkshire are at the heart of the garden, and I’m delighted to be showcasing them on a world stage at RHS Chelsea.”
Andrew Pern, owner of The Star at Harome, said: “We have a magnificent pantry of food on our doorstep in Yorkshire - the world’s finest game from the moors, quality fruit, veg and meat from farmlands, and renowned fish and shellfish from the North Sea.
“As a Michelin-starred chef for 14 years and owner of the UK’s top gastro pub in 2017, I can certainly fly the White Rose flag for all that is great and good about Yorkshire's produce.”
* All pebbles will be returned to the same site in Flamborough on conclusion of the RHS Chelsea show. Permission has been sought from Natural England, East Riding Council, The Crown Estate, and the Marine Management Organisation. We are very grateful for the advice provided by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and the RNLI.
The Welcome to Yorkshire garden has been kindly supported by East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Jewson, Marshalls, Bradshaws Direct, Grahams Quarries, Fenstone Quarry, Biffa, Gayle Mill, Outhwaite Ropemakers, Scarborough Council, Brownridge Transport, Tong Garden Centre, Rolawn.