Tuesday, 22 May 2012

‘Rooftop Workplace of Tomorrow’ brings the RHS Chelsea Flower Show into the 21st Century!

Patricia Fox of Aralia Garden Design is awarded an RHS Silver Flora Medal with the first ‘Rooftop’ inspired office garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2012.

 Benjamin Wetherall Photography ©

Rooftop Workplace of Tomorrow (in association with Walworth Garden Farm, and sponsored by RBS) has been awarded with a prestigious RHS Silver Flora Medal at this years RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Featuring an LED sports screen emitting calming and relaxing sounds and visuals, along with Wi-Fi, laptops and tablets throughout, this garden is where cutting edge technology and tranquillity unites.

Patricia Fox says The idea behind this garden is to utilise unused urban rooftop space and turn it into a place of beauty creating an inspirational, relaxing and thought provoking working environment – all in the middle of a concrete jungle!”

As well as introducing 21st Century technology to the Show Gardens category at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, Patricia has also selected a number of innovative materials which are economically friendly, including bamboo decking made from fast growing bamboo which proves extremely ecological. All the tabletops have been built using a brand new material produced from compressed recycled paper. The furniture and planters in the garden have been manufactured using brand new ‘up-cycled’ materials launched this year by Thomas Bramwell, including their modern take on the egg chair and quirky hanging ‘C’ shaped chairs hung from a modern white metal pergola, as well as ultra chic bespoke ‘sun’ sofa and chairs.

Aralia Garden Design ©

Functionality is key to this garden, and it doesn’t stop with the planting as Patricia has included is a stunning ‘Herb Wall’ where users can pick their own herbs of choice to make some revitalising herbal tea such as lemon, ginger, pineapple and even chocolate!

 Latchmere Productions ©

Calm and understated planting has been used to create a very textural, structured yet beautifully delicate space. The colour scheme is a mix of green and silver blue foliage, and simple white flowering plants such as Yarrow (Achillea Millefolioum), Rocket Candytuft (Iberis Amara) and White Campion (Silene Latiflora). The main focal plant is a stunning Pleached Field Maple (Acer Campestre) to give some stature to the garden, providing a beautiful alternative to the Pleached Hornbeam (Carpinus) which has been commonly seen at Chelsea in recent years. A West Himalayan Birch (Betula Pendula) has been selected for its ashy bark which compliments the white flora throughout the garden. A Norway Maple (Acer Globosum) has been used to provide a natural ‘umbrella’ for the floating workstation providing subtle shade under which to relax with laptops or tablets provided. Buxus cubes, Thymus balls and Buxus hedging provides the necessary structure to the garden, mimicking the ‘rounded square’ tablet inspired shape which is used consistently throughout the garden.

Patricia hopes to inspire anyone to extend their working offices into the outdoors, to help those busy workers of the 21st Century stay fresh and revitalised. She also aims to encourage people to ‘green up’ their rooftop and outdoor spaces whether it’s commercial or domestic, to turn it into an inspiring, beautiful yet functional space filled with lush planting to help sustain the environment.

Latchmere Productions ©

Rooftop Workplace of Tomorrow has been awarded an RHS Silver Medal within the Show Gardens Category at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this year. Let’s hope that from this, future Show Gardens of the world famous flower show will start to see even more of a transition into the 21st Century!

01279 721461 / 07970 906233
Studio 2, New House Farm, Lower Sheering Road, Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire, CM21 9LE


  1. Loved seeing this when we visited on Tuesday. Looks even better in person!

    Gaz Alternative Eden

  2. Thankyou Mark and Gaz! So pleased you loved the garden, we hope you enjoyed the show!

  3. Wow! That is definitely a first. This Rooftop Workplace of Tomorrow is splendid! I think employees are worthy of working at a ‘green’ place as amazing as this. The whole location looks serene and calming, and I believe that if once an employee is able to work here, there would be less pressure and stress for them. This rooftop office garden truly deserves to receive a very prestigious award. Kudos!

    Kip Whitehead

  4. Nice! When you take a look at the pictures, you would rather think of it as a backyard outside a house. If you’re not familiar with the green roofing trend, you wouldn’t think of it as a beautiful garden on a roof top. :D It really looks amazing!

    Eugene Head