RHS Appoints Ann-Marie Powell to Design

Friday 16 February 2018

RHS Chelsea medal winner joins Matt Keightley and Christopher Bradley-Hole to complete roster of world-class garden design talent transforming RHS Garden Wisley

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has commissioned award-winning designer Ann-Marie Powell to design two new gardens around the planned new Centre for Horticultural Science and Learning on the Hilltop at RHS Garden Wisley. The Wildlife Garden and Kitchen Garden will form a ‘living laboratory’ when they open in spring 2020 and play an important part in the enhanced learning experience by illustrating how plants impact our daily lives.

Ann-Marie Powell is familiar to many not only as a gold-medal winning designer of gardens at RHS Flower Shows, but also as an author, columnist and TV presenter. In 2016, Ann-Marie designed the Greening Grey Britain garden for the RHS at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, but this is the first time she will be working to create permanent spaces at an RHS Garden.

RHS Director General, Sue Biggs, says: “We are absolutely thrilled to have Ann-Marie on board to help shape the future of RHS Garden Wisley, and excited to see her innovative ideas come to life. Since its very first days under the care of the RHS, Wisley has been at the forefront of education in horticulture, and Ann-Marie’s designs will provide an easily accessible source of inspiration and learning for all who visit.”

Ann-Marie Powell adds: “It’s a real honour to be asked to design these important spaces at RHS Garden Wisley. It was the first garden that flicked my switch and it’s always been a hub for experimentation, so I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to put together something completely different and help to share inspiration with everyone who visits, no matter their level of skill. As I work with all the teams at Wisley, I’m learning and gaining insight into their vast knowledge and expertise and that is exactly what I hope these gardens will do for generations of visitors to come.”

Part of the RHS’s £160 million investment programme in horticulture, for which £20 million of funding still needs to be raised, the new gardens will help to bring visitors closer than ever to world-leading gardening science, by demonstrating beautiful horticulture, best practice and cutting edge research into the future challenges facing the UK’s 27 million gardeners. Working closely with the knowledgeable teams at Wisley, Ann-Marie’s garden designs will be filled with take-home inspiration for encouraging a healthy wildlife ecosystem and nurturing a bountiful vegetable patch.

Leading landscape designer Matt Keightley will design the third garden at the site, a Health and Wellbeing Garden, which is also the inspiration for his RHS Feel Good Garden at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Ann-Marie Powell’s and Matt Keightley’s Wisley designs form part of Christopher Bradley-Hole’s horticultural masterplan for RHS Garden Wisley and further details will be released later in the year.


Notes to editors

For more information and images, please contact Hannah Dolby in the RHS Press Office on 020 7821 3042 or hannahdolby@rhs.org.uk
Photographs are also available to download at www.rhs.photoshelter.com. Registration is a simple process and free of charge. Please contact pressoffice@rhs.org.uk to gain access.

Notes to Editors:

Ann-Marie Powell is an award-winning garden designer, TV gardening presenter, journalist and author, who divides her time between designing gardens for private clients, companies and charities, and enthusing people about gardening through her books, TV appearances and articles in national newspapers and magazines. Ann-Marie is an RHS Hampton Court (2015) and RHS Chelsea Gold (2010) and Silver Flora (2011) Medalist, designing show gardens for Macmillan Cancer Research, Green and Black’s, and The British Heart Foundation in association with Brewin Dolphin Investments. Ann-Marie also designed the RHS ‘Greening Grey Britain’ Garden at RHS Chelsea in May 2016.

About the RHS

The Royal Horticultural Society was founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood to inspire passion and excellence in the science, art and practice of horticulture. Our vision is to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener, healthier, happier and more beautiful place. We believe everyone in every village, town and city should benefit from growing plants to enhance lives, build stronger, healthier, happier communities and create better places to live.

We held our first flower shows in 1820, were granted a Royal Charter in 1861 and acquired RHS Garden Wisley, our flagship garden, in 1903. From our first meetings in a small room off London’s Piccadilly, we have grown to become the world’s largest gardening charity. At our gardens and shows and through our scientific research, publications, libraries and our education and community programmes we inspire a passion for gardening and growing plants, promote the value of gardens, demonstrate how gardening is good for us and explain the vital roles that plants undertake.

The RHS is committed to bring the joy of gardening to millions more people, inspire the next generation of gardeners and invest in the future to safeguard a £13 billion industry employing more than 300,000 people. We are entirely funded by our members, visitors and supporters.

RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and help us secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 020 3176 5820, or visit www.rhs.org.uk/join

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262.


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About the RHS

The RHS believes that gardening improves the quality of life and that everyone should have access to great garden experiences. As a charity we help to bring gardening into people's lives and support gardeners of all levels and abilities; whether they are expert horticulturists or children who are planting seeds for the very first time.

RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 0845 130 4646, or visit www.rhs.org.uk

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262