The Edulis Nursery Display at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2012

Posted on Wed, 25 Apr 2012 09:52 by Paul Barney
The Edulis Nursery Display at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2012 images

Following the success of Paul Barney’s Gold medal design for The Garlic Farm’s Garlic Lovers Garden at Hampton Court in 2011, he has designed an edible ornamental display for his nursery Edulis.

The 2012 Edulis display in the Grand Pavilion at RHS Chelsea Flower Show is a contemporary display using a variety of edible and medicinal plants, including a number of his collections.

Paul has created a floral display that uses floral elegance as well as textural diversity. The chosen plants have been careful selected to show that a garden can be both aesthetically attractive as well as useful.  In small modern gardens, plants have to work hard for their position, and multi-functionality is a positive factor in plant selection.

Paul has collaborated with artisan blacksmith, Lorraine Philpot, known for her displays at Hampton Court in 2010 and the Wisley Flower Show in 2010 and 2011. For Chelsea, Lorraine has created a striking steel globe artichoke and various climber supports mirroring the plant habit and structure.

The central architectural planting includes the Globe Artichoke (Cynara scolymus ‘Bere’) and Japanese Asparagus (Aralia cordata). Shrubs include the Szechwan Pepper (Zanthoxylum simulans) with edible young leaves and citrus peppercorns in autumn and the Carolina Allspice (Calycanthus floridus). Climbers include Schizandra chinensis and Schizandra grandiflora producing sweet & sour berries that improve liver function.

For a shady garden, the purple leaved Angelica ‘Ebony’ forms a striking foil with white & pink flowers. The rich shiny foliage of Wild Ginger (Asarum europeum) forms an evergreen groundcover for dry shade and has been used medicinally since the 13th century.

Drifts of white & pink umbels including Anthriscus sylvestris ‘Raven’s Wing’, Pimpinella major ‘Rosea’, Chaerophyllum hirsutum ‘Roseum’ and the new introduction Pimpinella triloba from the Caucasus, add a loose informality to the display.

The edible planting in the display provides a sustainable source of food as well as an ornamental element. These include Earth Chestnut (Bunium bulbocastaneum) and Wasabi (Wasabia japonica). Wasabi makes excellent salad leaves as well as horseradish roots.

New introductions include Dancing Girls (Globba saltatoria PAB 4208) – a hardy ginger relative from Mizoram, India. These have unusual purple and yellow orchid-like inflorescenses in spring, with a second flowering in September. The seeds were collected in a remote part of Mizoram at about 1400m.

The range of edible plants is enormous and in Britain we use a very limited number of plant species. Many can be used as ornamentally as well as an addition to our diets.

The 2012 RHS Chelsea Flower Show runs from 22-26 May.

For further information on Edulis Nursery please visit

For further information on Lorraine Philpot please visit

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