RHS Chelsea 2006

Jurassic Coast Garden

This garden was officially opened by Martin Clunes, a Dorset resident. It was designed by Nick Williams-Ellis to showcase Dorset’s world heritage site, where Nick took the central theme the ammonite motif, symbol of the Jurassic coast.

Purbeck stone, one of the famous building stones found along the coast, forms the rocky backdrop behind the water cascade and the stone pathway. An iconic dinosaur footprint, 150 million years old, on loan from Landers Quarry near Swanage, has been subtly integrated within a specially carved dinosaur track way.

The water course and path tie the garden together and use beautiful pebbles from Black Hill Quarry in east Devon. The Ammonite seat, skilfully constructed by a Dorset craftsman from local wind felled oak, forms the hub of the garden and is centred around a Trachycarpus.

Ginkgo, Araucaria and tree ferns, all survivors from Jurassic times, form much of the sub-tropical planting and offer direct links to the past. Lush, dense planting around the garden periphery further evolves the spirit of a Jurassic landscape. The Subtropical planting was supplied by Abbotsbury Gardens in Dorset. An Iguana at the front of the garden is carved in Portland stone, the world’s finest carving stone, by an artist working at the Portland Sculpture and Quarry Trust.