Cyclists and secateurs will star at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this year with a garden inspired by the Tour de France coming to Yorkshire.
Tourism agency Welcome to Yorkshire is taking the peloton from Paris to Chelsea this summer as it unveils the first ever Tour de France inspired garden at the show.
To celebrate the county hosting the Grand Départ in 2014 the fields of Yorkshire will be recreated in the Artisan section of the famous show with flashing cyclists speeding through its landscape.
The garden, being designed by Alistair W Baldwin Associates from Bedale in North Yorkshire, will also feature the sculptures of Hull-born Emma Stothard, who is currently exhibiting at Highgrove by invitation of HRH The Prince of Wales, and the UK’s rarest orchid, the Lady’s Slipper. It is hoped the garden will match last year’s gold medal winning Brontes’ Yorkshire Garden and the three back-to-back People’s Choice awards.
Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said, “Le Jardin de Yorkshire will celebrate the historic hosting of the Grand Départ in Yorkshire in 2014 and the landscape of our beautiful county. It will set the scene for an unforgettable few days in the county as Yorkshire’s natural beauty plays a starring role in one of the world’s most famous sporting events. Everyone is working really hard to ensure that Yorkshire’s medal success in London continues by bringing yet another gold medal back to the county.”
Alistair Baldwin, director of AWB Associates, said, “Le Jardin will evoke the beauty of Yorkshire and celebrate both its cycling heritage and its cycling future with the Grand Départ 2014 firmly at its heart. A wild meadow containing the rare Lady’s Slipper Orchid will be framed by Yorkshire’s famous dales as Swaledale sheep sculpted by Emma Stothard graze in the foreground and a symbolic representation of cyclists whizzes through the scenery. We are excited to have been commissioned to represent Welcome to Yorkshire at Chelsea this year and hope our garden captures the imagination and the attention of both the judges and the public alike.”
Emma Stothard said, “It is such an honour to have been invited by Welcome to Yorkshire and to have my Swaledale sheep sculptures included in Le Jardin de Yorkshire at RHS Chelsea Flower Show. It’s wonderful to be part of this great showcase for Yorkshire and to support the county’s Grand Départ moment.”
Le Jardin will also feature a traditional dry stone wall and a specially commissioned drinking trough with the names of locations that will feature in the two days of racing cut out of the steelwork, both created by Leeds based Aire Valley Landscapes. The Lady’s Slipper Orchid is on loan from Kilnsey Park near Skipton which manages the rare flower’s conservation and propagation in conjunction with the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew.
The garden will also mark the dual centenaries of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and the 100th running of the Tour de France and help raise the profile of Yorkshire’s famous gardens.
The Chelsea Flower Show runs from 21 – 25 May.