Garden designer Lottie Delamain is to create the first-ever garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show entirely with plants that can be used to make or dye clothes in support of Fashion Revolution in May.
The Textile Garden for Fashion Revolution will be part of the new ‘All About Plants’ category alongside several other gardens, supported by Project Giving Back, a grant that provides funding for gardens for good causes at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
The garden display will highlight how plants have played a fundamental role in fashion, as dyes, fibres, floral motifs and in botanical folklore and showcase sustainable solutions by re-establishing the connection between plants and textiles.
The design of the garden will imitate a textile, with planting in distinctive blocks of colour to create the impression of a woven fabric. Plants will be supplied by UK nurseries and growers and will be chosen for their use as fibres or textile dyes in commercial or craft use.
The garden will also feature a textile installation made entirely from plants by students of Headington School Oxford, while shallow reflective pools will be used to represent dye baths, with fabric or fibres soaking in natural dyes.
It is hoped that the garden will inspire visitors to create a mini-dye garden and be encouraged to try dyeing with plants at home, as well as think about the plants (or not) that they might be wearing and ask #whatsinmyclothes?
After Chelsea Flower Show, the garden will be relocated to Headington School in Oxford where Kate Turnbull, head of fashion and textiles design, has developed a new syllabus which includes the study of plants used for textiles dyes and fibres, along with their propagation and use.
The garden will be reimagined in two parts, as a working dye garden for the textile design students, and as a colour wheel garden, designed to inspire students across the school about the myriad roles plants play in our lives.
The Textile Garden for Fashion Revolution will feature at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show from May 24-28.