Chelsea Flower Show
Chelsea Flower Show garden to feature giant replica canal lock
Excepts from The Telegraph Saturday 02 May, 2015
A giant replica of a pair of canal lock gates is to become one of the most striking water features ever seen at the Chelsea Flower Show.
The 12ft oak timber gates, weighing a total of three tons, are part of a garden that aims to celebrate the 18th century industrial heritage of Leeds.
Water is pumped through the gaps in the ‘lock’ to recreate the canal side atmosphere, while the garden is split into two parts with a birch woodland with bluebells on one side and a meadow featuring Cornflowers and Bishops Flower on the other. The garden, created by Leeds City Council and modeled on the locks found on the Leeds-Liverpool Canal, is the latest in a series of eye-catching water features to make an appearance at the annual horticultural event.
Staff from the city council’s parks and countryside service, have helped design and create the £250,000 garden, which is paid for through sponsorship by local military supply firm HESCO Bastion. Martin Walker, one of members of the team behind the replica lock, said: “When the Chelsea Flower Show is over the garden will be moved back to Leeds where it can be enjoyed by others.“ The plants in the meadow area will continue to flower through until August. “As well as being eye-catching, the garden provides the opportunity for city’s landscape staff to enhance their skills.”
The gates, made by local craftsmen in Leeds, were transported to London by road and installed last week so that the garden can be completed with plants before the opening of the sell-out show, on May 25. Bob Sweet, organiser of the Chelsea Flower Show for the Royal Horticultural Society, said: “We have seem all manner of unusual entries but this is the first time we have seen an almost-full-size pair of canal lock gates. It is a brilliant piece of engineering and has cleverly married a soft landscape with a harder, industrial location.”