Among the highlights at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2021 was the award-winning Florence Nightingale Garden. This included a superb timber pergola built by ConstruktCLT and using PEFC-certified Douglas Fir cross laminated timber (CLT) from leading French timber supplier Piveteaubois.
Sponsored by the Burdett Trust for Nursing and created by designer Robert Myers, The Florence Nightingale Garden was built by award-winning landscape company Bowles & Wyer and designed to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale.
“With sustainability at the forefront of everyone’s minds, constructing the pergola from CLT offered an eco-friendly alternative to traditional building materials and helped to reduce our carbon footprint, which is particularly important at Chelsea, where the gardens are often transitory,” says Dan Riddlestone, Managing Director, Bowles and Wyer.
“We realised that this project would test the material, our supply chain and design and engineering capabilities,” adds Jim Johnstone, Director, ConstruktCLT. “We wanted to work with companies that we felt would be able to offer solutions to problems that were unusual and who would relish the challenge. As CLT is not usually considered for external use, our first consideration was choosing a CLT suitable for an extended outside lifespan.”
Importantly, the CLT is PEFC-certified. Making sure the wood was sustainable and responsibly sourced was a hugely important part of the project. “To see such a high profile and successful use of PEFC-certified CLT is really exciting,” says Alun Watkins, Executive Director of PEFC UK. “RHS Chelsea has proved to be a real showcase for timber and PEFC-certified material for several years now and the Florence Nightingale Garden is another example of sustainable sourcing becoming a normality.”
Photos: ©Richard Bloom/Jim Johnstone