Bowel Research UK Microbiome Garden

Designed by Chris Hull and Sid Hill, the garden focuses on health, for people, plants and all life, taking inspiration from human cultures that tended thriving ecosystems for nourishment.

Bowel Research UK Microbiome Garden in the All About Plants category at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2024

One of the ‘All About Plants‘ category to feature in the Great Pavilion, this garden explores the connection between the health of the soil, wildlife and our microbiome. The human microbiome is referred to as the genomic content of organisms (microbiota) inhabiting the human body. By means of this garden, the designers hope to inspire people to rewild their diets, gardens and relationship with the land.

The planting reflects an awe-inspiring natural landscape, while a serpentine charred-oak sculptural wall meanders through the garden and around ‘The Hive’, a simple yet sustainable, hexagonal shelter where people can gather to prepare food or take refuge from the elements. Traditional log hives emerge from the woodland edge planting at the rear of the garden, providing habitats for pollinators for the rich floral display. Thoughtful edible plantings offer a probiotic feast that nourishes the human microbiome, helping safeguard against a myriad of bowel-related ailments and cultivating a healthier future for all.

In terms of sustainability, construction of the garden will not use cement based products and all timber (including unseen construction timber) is locally grown and milled close to the relocation site. Recycled aggregate will be used in the shelter and peat-free compost from recycled garden waste is for the planting. The garden will be built by Atlanta Landscapes.

Chris Hull runs Greenbook Landscape Design and is a permanent presenter on BBC Garden Rescue. He has won the Pro Landscaper’s 30 Under 30 Award and has work featured in Pro Landscaper magazine and Dream Garden magazine. Hill started out as a gardener and subsequently completed his BSc (Hons) in Garden Design at Sparsholt College. Hill creates practical gardens with considered planting schemes that are not only beautiful but benefit the wider environment. Having first-hand experience of mental health issues in his family, Hill’s design direction stems from the immersive beauty of gardens and their positive effect on wellbeing. He believes that people should be at the heart of any project and their needs must work in harmony to support the natural world around them.

Sid Hill of Sid Hill Ecological Gardens, trained at the Eden Project and has been running his ecological landscape business for over 13 years. He has a degree in Ethnobotany & Landscape Design and has worked on a wide range of projects. His work has been featured on BBC Gardeners World, Permaculture Magazine and Bloom Magazine. He teaches permaculture design and held the position of lecturer and assessor at Duchy College. Hill was awarded the Prince Of Wales Trophy in Sustainable Horticulture and the ’30 Under 30′ award by Pro Landscaper. Hill has featured on last week regarding his beautifully designed, microbiome enhancing garden paths.

The garden which is supported by Project Giving Back, will be relocated to the Apricot Centre in Totnes, Devon, which runs a sustainable farm helping children and families understand the fundamental link between the wellbeing of the soil, food and habitat, and the mental and physical health of the people who work in and around its farm.