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RHS Chelsea 2020 | Bicester Village Shopping Garden - Inspired

The Bicester Village Shopping Collection
The Inspired Garden
Designer - Nikki Tibbles

This contemporary take on an English country garden is a colourful, fragrant and romantic oasis – a perfect place and an enchanting space in which to escape, work, create and relax away from the hustle and bustle of life.

Traditional elements with a contemporary twist, including charming Scottish pebbles, reclaimed brick walls, an attractive seating area and a wooden pergola made from reclaimed sea groyne, are juxtaposed with flashes of colour that reflect the owner's love of travel, architecture, art and fashion. 

Artisan gardens are the smallest group at the Chelsea Flower Show and present their own particular challenges for growing. In a full-size show garden, the plants need to be super-sized, most are grown in a minimum 5L-10L pot and are near enough as large as an established plant would be in a real garden. Too small, and the plants can look like have just been picked out of a garden centre and the effect is ruined. However, in an Artisan Garden everything has to be scaled down a bit to fit the site. So, although a 1.8m tall foxglove would look perfect in full size garden; in an Artisan, it looks better to use something around 1m-1.2m tall. And even though we may grow perennials in 3-5L pots for an Artisan rather than 5-10L pots, the plants still need to fill the pot and look mature. It’s a bit like getting the scale of Hobbits and wizards right in Lord of the Rings!


The other challenge of Artisan gardens is that whilst there can be a long plant list, the numbers of each species are quite small, so we have to be careful that we do not lose the batches on the nursery! Careful labelling is key.


This garden is going to be beautiful and it will be a real artists palette of pastel colours, each arranged in different areas of the garden. At the moment we look a pots of compost, and it takes a degree of imagination to picture what the plants will look like in 13 weeks’ time, but the weeks will soon fly by!

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