Our post-pandemic gardens are being asked to work harder for us than ever. They are being tasked to not only grow plants, but also to provide an outdoor extension to our homes where we can relax, exercise, entertain and eat. Kate Gould’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show Sanctuary Garden, ‘Out of the Shadows’ is a lesson in how the pandemic has changed the concept of the garden, with even the smallest now being tasked to serve multiple functions and incorporate modern lifestyle needs.
‘Out of the Shadows’ is one of the RHS’ ‘Sanctuary Gardens’ and is a small, contemporary garden which packs a huge punch in terms of the lifestyle it delivers, in a perfectly tranquil and harmonious way. The garden features a state-of-the-art Jacuzzi swim spa for exercising, spaces for seating and relaxation, climbing bars, and a yoga/ me
ditation space all elegantly situated amongst dramatic and exotic, tropical-style planting.
Kate Gould said; “As we (hopefully) come out of the pandemic, people have certainly become more mindful about creating safe spaces they can hunker down in. They are thinking outside the box in terms of what they want their gardens to deliver when it comes to outdoor living, and they are often not sure how to achieve this within a traditional garden model. With ‘Out of the Shadows’ I want to show people that if they want a swim spa for example, or a space to do yoga, they don’t need to choose between having that and a beautiful garden. It doesn’t need to be an either/ or choice. Have a swim spa, but make it chic. It is as much about coming out of the shadow of the pandemic – and all the ways that has elevated the importance of our gardens – as it is about coming out of quite narrow, traditional views of what a garden needs to be. It can work on so many different levels and clever design choices can marry up lifestyle needs.”
When it comes to the gardens’ planting scheme, evergreens form the backbone of ‘Out of the Shadows,’ overlaid with a tropical theme. The evergreen focus references how we now want to use and enjoy our gardens 365 days a year, a throwback to lockdown which saw gardens act as indespensible safe havens even in the cooler months.