Arabian Gardens Image Credit: Identity
Arabian Gardens Image Credit: Identity

Arabian Gardens

One of the show gardens at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show is The Dubai Majlis Garden, designed by Thomas Hoblyn – who tells identity more about his concept and inspiration.

Penny Mccormick

The so-called ‘Oscars of the gardening world’ takes place from 21 to 25 May at RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London, when eleven top designers will compete in creating impressive show gardens. Each is different yet valid – whether Tom Dixon’s democratic garden design for Ikea, Andy Sturgeon’s garden inspired by rock formations on an Australian beach, or Sarah Eberle’s Resilience Garden which explores how forests are faring in the face of climate change. In the line-up is The Dubai Majlis Garden by Thomas Hoblyn, which continues the Middle Eastern presence at the show, started by HH Sheikh Zayed who loved gardens and worked closely with landscape designer Christopher Bradley-Hole. His innovative Garden from the Desert (2003) won a gold medal, while Hortus Conclusus, or enclosed flower garden, in 2004 gained the extra award of Best Show Garden. In the Grove (2005) was built in memory of the Sheikh, who did so much to bring the gardening style of the Middle East to a wider audience. Hoblyn’s passion for gardening was ignited by his father who gave him a small plot within the family vegetable garden. “It started with growing food and soon evolved into flowers from around the world.” His enthusiasm was developed by his uncle and aunt who had “ the most amazing garden perched on the side of a hill in South Devon. I spent much of my early years there and they were keen to impart their knowledge. It was my uncle who gave me a copy of The Well-Tempered Garden by Christopher Lloyd and that really introduced me to the world of horticulture.”

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