Beehive Garden of Arabia RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2021

Garden Designer Tilly Dallas and Artist Finbar Ward designed the Beehive Garden of Arabia for Bees for Development, the charity that makes life better with bees for people around the world, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2021. The installation raised awareness of the perfect nature of bees in contributing to sustainable development by providing a source of income. 

The installation was an homage to the ancient and enduring method of beekeeping. Each cylindrical structure was built using hand dug and hand filtered clay from the fields surrounding Finbar’s studio in Wiltshire. The clay cylinders were planted with cultivars that offer nectar to a myriad of species throughout the year and some that are essential in creating both wet and dry habitats for insects and other wildlife. Habitats that are becoming increasingly endangered. The installation showed how people and nature can genuinely work in harmony and that international development can be achieved using inexpensive and environmentally sustainable ways to tackle climate change and protect biodiversity. 

The flooring was supplied by Thornes Beehives from sustainably sourced English Cedar, Thuja plicata, from the Kylo Forest in Northumberland. All this timber has now been repurposed for the building of beehives. All plants were supplied by Creepers Nursery.

Tilly founded her company Tilly Dallas Garden Design in 2016. Drawing on her scientific background she creates environmentally focussed gardens that improve biodiversity and connect her clients with nature.

Written by Tilly Dallas

Photographs by Noah Da Costa