Kent Wildflower Seeds to make their RHS Chelsea Flower Show debut

Family owned, Kent Wildflower Seeds are coming to the 2024 RHS Chelsea Flower Show with the aim to redefine the role of wildflowers in modern gardens.

Crundale Downs in Bloom
Crundale Valley - credit: Kent Wildflower Seeds

For generations the Denne family, who own and run Kent Wildflower Seeds, have nurtured a deep connection with the landscapes of the Kent countryside. Their debut at the 2024 RHS Chelsea Flower Show marks a significant milestone for the business, allowing the next generation to share their passion and expertise with a wider audience, while promoting the sustainable benefits of incorporating native wildflowers in garden planting schemes.

In collaboration with garden designer Tabi Jackson Gee, the company will be exhibiting their native wildflowers in the Great Pavilion to highlight how wildflowers are not only beautiful, but can be a productive element of any sized or styled garden. “Wildflowers can complement even the most formal garden settings, bringing a touch of untamed beauty to a traditional border, vegetable patch, or prairie garden, while providing crucial benefits for wildlife and soil health”, explains Charlotte Denne of Kent Wildlfowers.

Beyond aesthetics, the exhibit will include educational messaging to highlight the vital role wildflowers play in increasing biodiversity, cycling nutrients through the soil, improving its structure, and providing edibles and holistic benefits for gardeners. “The focus is on edible and medicinal plants that are good for people and wildlife. We felt it was important to inspire people, putting beauty and ecology at the forefront of the display and not prioritising one over the other but showing how they can work in tandem”, adds Jackson Gee.

All the plants for the exhibit will be grown by Denne at the family farm in Kent, which considering the pressure of exhibiting at RHS Chelsea, which – especially as a new comer, is not only admirable but brave. With reference to the family’s generations, the exhibit will feature antique seed drawers and equipment from the Denne seed shop.

The first time a wildflower nursery has exhibited in the Great Pavilion, reflecting the shift in industry focus towards creating sustainable spaces and how gardens are evolving to be both beautiful as well as more ecologically focused.

“We hope that people take the message away that some native wildflowers your garden can be truly beautiful and doesn’t have to mean mess and huge meadows” said Denne.

Jackson and Denne met through a fortuitous introduction by landscape architect, Marian Boswall. “It’s been a real team effort, and a huge privilege and pleasure to bring so many exciting creative minds into the project” explained Jackson. The Wiltshire based designer, works across the South West and London, undertaking projects ranging private gardens to commercial work, all with ecological restoration at their heart.

“I love Kent Wildflower Seed’s message that wildflowers can be used in any garden setting, and found that hugely inspiring for the design. I’ve even started recommending my clients use wildflower mixes in their borders, especially if they have a relatively new garden that needs some help getting going or has gaps in between the perennials for a couple of years”, she added.

For the exhibit, Kent Wildflowers will be collaborating with; Sebastian Cox, regenerative designer and craftsman, who will be making a meadow bench for the exhibit; decorative artist Mel Campion, who will be making bespoke planters, renowned French artist Claire Basler who has been commissioned in partnership with Somerset based fragrance house Ffern, to create a 2.4m high artwork.

“We are so excited to be partnering with Kent Wildflower Seeds and Tabi Jackson Gee on this wonderful project, and to be working again with Claire Basler, our Summer 24 artist. Wildflowers have always been such a source of inspiration for us, and it’s a delight to discover such a profound synergy with other creatives”, explains Emily Cameron, Ffern Creative Director.