Crocus at the Chelsea Flower Show 2023

Sustainability in the Nurture Landscapes Garden

Helen Derrin

Written by: Crocus Plant Doctor, Helen

Last updated: 11th May 2023

When working on her projects, Sarah always tries to work with nature rather than against it, so from its conception, one of the most important objectives of the garden was to keep its environmental impact to a minimum - and with that in mind, we believe The Nurture Landscapes Garden will have the lowest carbon footprint of any Chelsea garden previously built.


Teaming up with Local Works Studio, we've been sourcing many of our materials for the garden from waste, much of it taken from our nursery at Crocus. For example, the bricks within the garden have been made from 95% waste materials, which include broken terracotta pots form our Crocus nursery. Whilst the canvas screens that will encircle the garden have come from old painted backdrops from film studios, now stretched over timber frames made from reused or excess construction materials.

The Mind Garden by Andy Sturgeon

The garden also features many traditional methods of craftsmanship. Paint on the canvasses has been hand-made - following an old Scandinavian recipe that includes rye flour, linseed oil & natural pigments, many of which are plant based.

“There are materials surrounding is, and it's almost about stopping and thinking about their creative potential” Sarah Price

Whilst, hundreds of waste hop bines have been collected and woven together with the dried fibre from unwanted bramble stems to make rope.


Even planters have been created by digging a hole in the ground and pouring in the aggregate mix and using the earth's heat to fire them. Finally, keen to keep transport to a minimum, all the materials, craftspeople, producers and their movements have been mapped within a corridor that lies between our nursery in Windlesham and the showground at Chelsea.


Sarah's tips for designing sustainably

Sarah's Tip No. 1: Pollinator friendly plants

Sarah advises to always think of plants first; "Prioritising plants over the built, hard landscape of a garden creates more opportunities for habitat creation, productivity, beauty, and importantly, carbon capture. Planting trees and hedges alone will boost biodiversity, suck in carbon, and deaden noise. Allowing areas of lawn to grow long will help retain humidity and soil moisture, improving habitat conditions for invertebrates and for species of moths and butterfly."


Prioritise nature with these plants

Sarah's Tip No. 2: Water capture

“I often introduce shallow dishes of rainwater within my gardens,” Sarah says. “Carefully positioned, they mirror the sky and tree canopies, whilst importantly attracting wildlife such as birds, pollinators and mammals. Equally important is rainwater collection; water butts are easy to install and safely store rainwater from rooftops."

Sarah's Tip No. 3: Waste as a valuable resource

Sarah also suggests using reclaimed materials and planting drought tolerant plants; "In The Nurture Landscapes Garden, we make use of reclaimed bricks in low retaining walls, and old timber is repurposed as furniture. Even construction waste - such as crushed concrete and aggregates are used in the pathways and as a garden mulch. Consider using recycled sands and aggregates for informal pathways and as low fertility growing substrate for drought resistant, dry gardens whose plants develop deep reaching root systems, allowing them to thrive in the sun."


Some plants are happiest growing in dry, sandy substrates. Below our some of our favourites.


Sarah's colour palette
Read more

Growing plants at Chelsea
Read more

Crocus at Chelsea

Discover more

Copyright © Ltd 2024. All rights reserved.