Welsh Slate to feature at RHS Chelsea

A visual of the Terrence Higgins Trust garden at RHS Chelsea. Designed by Matthew Childs, it will showcase Welsh Slate

Welsh Slate products will feature on the Terrence Higgins Trust Bridge to 2030 garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this year. Designed by Matthew Childs who grew up in Wales and supported by grant-giving charity Project Giving Back, it will celebrate the work of the Terrence Higgins Trust and its 2030 vision of there being no new HIV cases, where people with HIV are supported and live well and there is good sexual health for all.

The garden is inspired by rejuvenated slate quarry landscapes, which are said to be used as a metaphor "for resilience and how much things have changed with HIV in the UK since the 1980s."

A monolith Welsh Slate stepping stone bridge and steps produced from custom cuts and bi-product of Ffestiniog slate will be a key focus of the garden. Supplementing this will be a textural path produced from Type 2 pillared, rustic and narrow pillared walling, all from the Ffestiniog quarry. A contemporary dry stone wall produced from reclaimed Ffestiniog walling slate will complement the path, in addition to planting in crevices created by Ffestiniog primary off-cuts - sawn offcuts from slate blocks before they are split. 

Boulders from Welsh Slate’s Penrhyn Quarry will also feature throughout the garden - one as a balancing sculpture, one as part of Welsh designer Swyn Anwyl Williams’ furniture design, and another will become a water feature.

Reclaimed Ffestiniog roofing slates will clad the interior sides of the tiered garden pond at the front of the garden, and paths and garden mulches will be formed from Welsh Slate aggregate - Grey Blinding 14mm to dust and Grey 10mm to 20mm.

Of the garden, Matthew said: “I decided that the idea for a garden that I’d had 10 years ago was something I wanted to make happen and the generosity of Welsh Slate has been instrumental in helping me achieve my vision for the Bridge to 2030 garden.”

Welsh Slate own and operate the Penrhyn, Ffestiniog and Cwt-y-Bugail quarries in North Wales and is part of the Breedon Group.