Lighting Design created for award winning Helen Elks Smith - Warner's Gin Show garden at RHS Chelsea 2019

Lighting Design created for award winning Helen Elks Smith - Warner's Gin Show garden at RHS Chelsea 2019

Lighting Design created for award winning Helen Elks Smith – Warner’s Gin Show garden at RHS Chelsea 2019

We were delighted back in October 2018 when award-winning garden designer Helen Elks Smith asked us to do the lighting design for her 2019 Main Avenue garden at Chelsea Flower Show – for Warner’s Distillery.  We have created several lighting designs for Helen's garden design projects and this was a very exciting venture for us all.

 

Garden Designer Helen Elks Smith
photo copyright : Richard Bloom

Pallette

The first step was to assess the pallet of textures, features and planting that would make up the garden.  Helen’s design drew on the landscape of the home of Warners, Falls Farm, with it’s undulating flower meadows and botannicals used in the making of Warner’s gin.   The hard landscape elements referenced Frank Lloyd Wrights iconic masterpiece Falling Water whilst also reflecting materials found at Falls Farm & in the gin distillery – stone, copper, stained glass and gin clear water falls.

Warner's Gin garden, Elks Smith Design, colour pallette

Design

A show garden is a small piece of gardening perfection and is free from the usual constraints and so our task was to distill the lighting design down to key elements of focus.

Together with Helen we decided on the stained glass, the moving water and the key planting feature; the juniper tree.

The stained glass window was a complicated feature to light – we particularly wanted to pick out the tiny air bubbles in the glass panels – created by the amazing Wendy Newhofer

The next months involved working with Dan Riddlestone of Bowles & Wyer, who were building the garden, and Helen, to test & re-test the lighting with every feature.

 

Owl Lighting & Dan Riddlestone - Bowles & Wyer

 

BUILD

Chelsea gardens are built on site over just a few weeks – beginning with a square plot of earth.  Every few days in the run up to show opening we were in Chelsea over seeing the installation by the excellent team at Bowles & Wyer.

 

Building the Warners Distillery  Garden - RHS Chelsea 2019 - Elks Smith Garden Design, Bowles & Wyer

Helen Elks Smith - planting the Warners Distillery garden - RHS Chelsea 2019

 

 

Paul - Owl Lighting

 

SHOW WEEK

Finally the garden was finished and the doors opened for HM the Queen and other members of the Royal Family & VIPS.   It was incredibly exciting that the Queen personally visited the garden,  Helen was introduced and had very interesting conversation about juniper trees.

(C) Richard Bloom - Elks Smith Landscape Design - The Warners Distillery Garden RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019

 

The BBC featured Helen & the garden nearly every day during the week including a long feature on the build by Sophie Raworth &  Monty Don who presented a link from the garden.

Monty Don presents from the Warners Distillery Garden (C) Richard Bloom - Elks Smith Landscape Design - The Warners Distillery Garden RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019

 

Most exciting for us, Adam Frost presented a piece on garden lighting on the Friday evening BBC1 show featuring all the lighting design we created for the garden.

Backlight stained glass by Wendy Newhofer - Warners Gin Distillery Garden Chelsea Flower RHS Show 2019 Designed by Elks-Smith Landscape Design.

 

A copper slot window reveals a lit tree - (C) Warners Gin Distillery Garden Chelsea Flower RHS Show 2019 Designed by Elks-Smith Landscape Design.

 

Lighting picks out the strings of water - (C) Warners Gin Distillery Garden Chelsea Flower RHS Show 2019 Designed by Elks-Smith Landscape Design. Richard Bloom

 

The Juniper Tree - (C) Warners Gin Distillery Garden Chelsea Flower RHS Show 2019 Designed by Elks-Smith Landscape Design.

 

 

Our special thanks go to designer ; Helen Elks Smith,  Tom & Tina from Warners Distillery, Dan Riddlestone & his team from Bowles & Wyer; Wendy Newhofer; and Richard Bloom photography.

 

All photos copyright : Richard Bloom, Elks Smith Garden Design, Warners Distillery Garden RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019.

 

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