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The RHS Chelsea show garden inspired by the Yorkshire coast

PUBLISHED: 00:00 23 February 2017

Garden designer Tracy Foster has taken her inspiration from the  wildness of Flamborough and the drama of Yorkshire’s historic castles and abbeys

Garden designer Tracy Foster has taken her inspiration from the wildness of Flamborough and the drama of Yorkshire’s historic castles and abbeys

Credit: Jeff Gilbert / Alamy Stock Photo

It’s been described as one of the region’s most ambitious garden projects yet aimed at winning acclaim at RHS Chelsea Flower Show this year.

Tracy FosterTracy Foster

An award-winning garden designer is to recreate Yorkshire’s coastline in central London at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show. The garden called ‘Welcome to Yorkshire’ is designed by Tracy Foster and inspired by the spectacular scenery around the region’s shores. It will feature cliffs, a real beach and the sea. A ruined abbey will also be constructed in the garden, celebrating the county’s many historic buildings such as Whitby Abbey.

For the second year in a row the tourism authority Welcome to Yorkshire is showcasing the county using what is expected to be one of the biggest show gardens at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show which takes place May 22nd-27th.

Every inch of the garden’s build will be authentically Yorkshire. The stone used to construct the ruin will be sourced from the same quarry used to build Whitby Abbey back in the 13th century and the cliffs will be created from material with the same geological composition as Flamborough Head itself. The plants, flowers and herbs used in the garden will also be those which grow in and around the coastal area.

The garden is the creative vision of multi-award winning designer Tracy Foster from Sheffield. She has taken her inspiration from the freshness and wildness of Flamborough and the drama of Yorkshire’s historic castles and abbeys. Her spectacular water feature will highlight Yorkshire’s strong links to the fishing industry and recognise the rich array of seafood which the county supplies to the world.

Tracy Foster's vision for RHS Chelsea Flower ShowTracy Foster's vision for RHS Chelsea Flower Show

‘I’m really looking forward to sharing the unique beauty of the Yorkshire coast with everyone at the show,’ says Tracy. ‘I’m fascinated by how the geology and geography of an area influences the species that grow there, wildlife that lives there, what can be farmed here and how the whole character of the landscape has developed throughout history. Researching this garden has been a pure pleasure, as there has been so much to find out and enjoy. The main problem has been deciding what to leave out!’

Tracy, whose design studio is in Leeds, will also celebrate Yorkshire’s powerful relationship with the land and agriculture, acknowledging the importance of the rural economy and the county’s role as a major food producer. This will be echoed through a breath-taking 3D Trompe l’oile painting. This art technique uses realistic imagery to create an optical illusion and will deceive the viewer into thinking the rural scene is real. Welcome to Yorkshire has previously won a gold medal, five silver medals, one silver gilt medal and six people’s choice awards at Chelsea. Sir Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire said: ‘Our eighth garden at Chelsea will showcase the rugged beauty of Yorkshire’s stunning coastline by recreating its key elements in the heart of the capital. The inclusion of a beach, cliffs and large water feature make it our most ambitious garden yet. With a designer as accomplished and decorated as Tracy Foster, we know this will be another show-stopping garden and will no doubt tempt the thousands of Chelsea visitors to come and experience Yorkshire for themselves.’

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