Thomas Hoblyn Suffolk Garden Design and Cambridge Garden Design Chelsea Flower Show 2009
Thomas Hoblyn Suffolk Garden Design and Cambridge Garden Design Chelsea Flower Show 2009
Thomas Hoblyn Suffolk Garden Design and Cambridge Garden Design Chelsea Flower Show 2009
Thomas Hoblyn Suffolk Garden Design and Cambridge Garden Design Chelsea Flower Show 2009
Thomas Hoblyn Suffolk Garden Design and Cambridge Garden Design Chelsea Flower Show 2009
Thomas Hoblyn Suffolk Garden Design and Cambridge Garden Design Chelsea Flower Show 2009

Photographs © Helen Fickling


The inspiration for Tom Hoblyn’s 2009 Chelsea show garden came from a trip to North Carolina to study carnivorous plant habitats for the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Tom realised how vulnerable these plant communities were due to ignorance, pollution, climate change and the banning of forest fires.

Wetland gardens are rarely seen at Chelsea, but here Tom celebrated one of the world’s most fragile yet beautiful habitats; from a pool surrounded by trees rose a sloping bog garden featuring a harmonious mix of British and North Carolina native plants, many of which are rare and endangered. Highly specialised plants like bog oak, swamp cypress and pitcher plants were mixed successfully with British species of reeds and rushes. Collectively they highlighted vulnerability versus adaptation in the plant world.

A sculptural waveform undulated through the garden, reflecting the environmental and economic instability of a tumultuous world. An ideal of humanity watched over the world in the form of a wire mesh female sculpture – a guardian of the environment, she sat poised and ready to adapt to the wave of change.

Much of the garden was made of recycled materials, with sheep’s wool furniture and both the waveform and boardwalk being made from a giant redwood that fell in a storm. The growing medium is composted green waste and the wall blocks are 92% furnace ash and glass.

After the show the entire garden was reconstructed in a 12-acre site in Suffolk.

The inspiration for Tom Hoblyn’s 2009 Chelsea show garden came from a trip to North Carolina to study carnivorous plant habitats for the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Tom realised how vulnerable these plant communities were due to ignorance, pollution, climate change and the banning of forest fires.

Wetland gardens are rarely seen at Chelsea, but here Tom celebrated one of the world’s most fragile yet beautiful habitats; from a pool surrounded by trees rose a sloping bog garden featuring a harmonious mix of British and North Carolina native plants, many of which are rare and endangered. Highly specialised plants like bog oak, swamp cypress and pitcher plants were mixed successfully with British species of reeds and rushes. Collectively they highlighted vulnerability versus adaptation in the plant world.