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Chelsea 1998

Le Bosquet de Chanel

Designed in collaboration with Karl Lagerfeld, this is a Cabinet de Verdure - a baroque ‘green room’, overlaid with romantic planting. The design attempted to capture the spirit of Coco Chanel, whose favourite flower was a white camellia. In an extraordinary feat of manipulation, Hillier’s nursery managed to delay the flowering of these shrubs by three months so that they were at their best for Chelsea. The entire hedged structure of the garden was grown for a year in advance in containers and then assembled on site like a jigsaw - the first time a garden was made in this way for Chelsea.

At the centre of the garden lay a parterre de broderie with the Chanel device woven into a baroque pattern, typical of those in Jacques Boyceau’s 1638 gardening treatise, Traité du jardinage. A seat in the garden was based on a design by William Kent. After the show the garden was recreated, in a modified form, at a house in Ireland. The garden was built by Crocus.