It’s a very special year at Chelsea for celebrated designer Jo Thompson as she creates her 10th garden at the world-renowned flower show.
From her first garden for the Demelza Children’s Hospice in 2009, to this year’s elegant pavilion-lined garden for Wedgwood, Jo’s reputation as Chelsea’s leading lady has flourished.
She said: “There’s nothing quite like Chelsea Flower Show and it is an absolute privilege to be designing my 10th garden here. Chelsea represents the pinnacle of the landscape design world and being a part of it has enriched both my career and life.
“I’ve been lucky enough to have worked with some incredible people, created some fantastic spaces and made unforgettable memories. I’ve seen Chelsea evolve; witnessed the cyclical nature of fashion and trends and seen more and more women step up to take their place on the garden design stage.”
Jo has witnessed many changes in gardening styles from the paired back simplicity of the late noughties through to the wave of more naturalistic gardens in the mid-teens followed by the advent of colour and geometric shapes that have most recently graced Main Avenue.
This year Jo has designed the Wedgwood garden, which marks its impressive 260th anniversary. It is a very personal garden that is effectively a distillation of the passion she has for her craft.
Referencing the spark that first anticipated her later career; her love of classical architecture from her Italian roots, the garden also showcases her innate ability to conjure a genius loci, invoke an atmospheric sense of place alongside impeccably arranged space that is complemented with sympathetic planting.
Named the ‘Rose Queen’ and ‘Queen of Romantic Planting’, Jo has established a reputation for her sensitive painterly planting schemes and alongside accolades such as ‘Chelsea Trendsetter’ and ‘Chelsea’s Leading Lady’ she has earnt admiration for her pioneering but sensitive design style.
Her 10th garden, for iconic British ceramics company Wedgwood, will be an elegant, reflective space with untamed planting surrounding soaring pavilions. It seeks to subtly reference the Wedgwood founder’s pioneering spirit, his revolutionary use of water in furthering his industry and love of classical architecture.