An award-winning performance from Alfresco

RHS Chelsea Flower Show packed a punch with the passion of Passiflora featuring in a Gold Medal winning garden, with the help of Jay Blades, MBE.

The pollen may have settled on RHS Chelsea Flower Show for another spectacular year, but we are still giddy with (hay)feverish excitement over the wonderful reception of Clarke & Clarke’s Alfresco collection, which had a royal moment in the sun during the week-long event.

The setting for our seating triumph came in the beautiful community garden design, created by James Smith, chartered Landscape Architect and Registered Member of the Society of Garden Designers.

London Square Community Garden came to life through the vision of James and developer, London Square, who were inspired by volunteers on the Doddington & Rollo estate in Battersea, after witnessing them create a half-acre community garden using donated tress, plants and shrubs to create a green oasis in the middle of tower block structures.


With this inspiration in mind, James and the London Square team set about delivering a garden with community at its very centre; somewhere for people to convene and relax, sharing food and conversation in comfortable and sensory surroundings. A symbol of the power of gardens and how they bring people together was truly achieved by this team and as a result, the garden won Gold in the Sanctuary category at RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Two distinct areas were designed as part of this project. A meeting space nestled under a pergola with an outdoor kitchen promotes togetherness and communication in the great outdoors, breaking away from the conventional meeting spaces.

Within this zone, The Repair Shop’s Jay Blades, MBE, styled and upcycled chairs for the zone through his company Jay & Co, emphasising the sustainable nature of the garden and bringing colour and style to the space.

The chairs were adorned with seat cushions and when it came to selecting fabrics that would compliment and uplift the garden, our new Alfresco Collection came up trumps, with Jay himself selecting Passiflora in our Denim colourway. Trailing passionflowers come to life in this fabric with its bold scale and invigorating colourway. Working with the evergreen metal frame of the upcycled chairs, our Alfresco collection fabric combined pazazz and performance for the medal winning garden.

Clarke & Clarke’s trail of colour did not stop there as in the peaceful planted area, a large swing resided, dappled in shade and perfect for whiling away the hours or indulging in a favourite book. Passiflora was used again for the cushioning of the swing seat, a charming bench style made all the more comfortable by the use of our indoor-outdoor performance fabric. It even received the royal seal of approval as Queen Camilla took a moment’s rest from the day to perch upon the swing seat.

On selecting the fabric, Jay Blades said, “We were inspired to use the new outdoor collection from Clarke & Clarke because it not only worked really well with the concept of the garden, the colours were current, and the feel of the fabric was beautiful.”

In a full circle moment, the garden, post show, has been relocated to the Doddington & Rollo Community Roof Garden in Battersea, reflecting the teams’ commitment to promoting green spaces for local communities and bringing the garden ‘home’ to its original source of inspiration.


posted on 21 Jun 2023 in Interiors

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