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Perfume Garden with a Historic Connection—at 2009 Chelsea Flower Show

Posted: March 23, 2009

With a view to share “the story of perfume from plant to bottle,” architect Laurie Chetwood and landscape designer Patrick Collins are creating a perfume garden at the 2009 RHS Chelsea Flower Show scheduled May 19–23, 2009. Inspired by the rosewater-infused fragrance created by Queen Elizabeth I in the 16th century, the garden is being designed to resemble a flower and will house a perfumery. In addition, Procter & Gamble Prestige Products will create a modern interpretation of Queen Elizabeth’s perfume to mark the event.

In keeping with the historic theme and perfume, the garden will include different rose types (Mme Hardy, Tuscany Superba and Gertrude Jekyll), iris, three varieties of geranium (Spessart, Ingwersens and Bevan’s variety), silver posies, lilies, narcissus and violets. Fragrant plants such as French lavender, sage, thyme, fennel and sweet flag, along with clipped Western red cedar and mugo pines, will also be featured.

Of the collection, Collins says, “The plants within it have been carefully selected for their scent, color and association with the perfume industry … In the 16th century global exploration and new trading links led to an influx of new and exciting species. Many of these can be seen in the Perfume Garden, including Thuja occidentalis, Hyacinthium orientalis, Geranium macorrhizum and Acorus calamus.”