Boreal Forest Garden

A collaboration between LandLab and Taiga Rescue Network (an international network of organisations working to protect the boreal forests) for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. The garden aimed to highlight the importance of sustaining Earth’s boreal forests by focusing on NFTPs (Non-Timber Forest Products) and drawing upon the expertise of aboriginal peoples.

Concept: a forest clearing lightly managed as a garden, to harvest NTFPs such as pine nuts, blueberries, herbs for cooking and medicine, coppice materials for construction, charcoal and fuel, birch bark for making containers, grasses for making baskets, sap for drinking and resin for binding and waterproofing. The garden had two sculptural elements: forms of woven willow and hazel, one by artist Lizzie Farey, the other by a Siberian Forest Ranger at the Laurieston Community.

The challenge for LandLab was to recreate boreal forest plant communities in a realistic way on a 10x20m plot in London. We carried out a detailed process of studying Boreal Flora and its use by indigenous people; careful sourcing; contract growing; and transporting and handling of plant stock, from small herb layer plants to 2-tonne, 10m tall trees.

Winner of the RHS Silver Medal.