Set in the former Worsley New Hall estate, close to the Bridgewater Canal in Salford and just off the M60 ring road, RHS Bridgewater is set to be the UK’s fifth Royal Horticultural Society garden.
Spanning 154 acres, the garden is the biggest horticultural project undertaken in Europe since 2017, and also marks the first new RHS garden in 17 years, as well as the the first ever in an urban location.
The first phase of the project has included the restoration of the 11-acre Weston Walled Garden, as well as the creation of the ‘Welcome Building‘ which features an events space, learning space, offices, café and shop.
Each section of the garden features designs by RHS Chelsea Flower Show gold medal winners alongside several dedicated community spaces, intended to provide gardening inspiration, education and engagement to visitors from the North West and beyond.
More than a quarter of a million plants have been put in the ground, while the Weston Walled Garden itself is home to the Paradise Garden by designer Tom Stuart-Smith, showcasing exotic planting inspired by Asiatic and Mediterranean gardens.
The nearby Kitchen Garden has been designed by award-winning Harris Bugg Studio and features a display of productive growing techniques and a selection of edibles.
In addition, there are several community gardens, including a Community Wellbeing Garden, Community Grow area and Peel Learning Garden, supported by the landowner. The Orchard Gardens and the first dedicated RHS Trials ground outside the RHS’s flagship Wisley in Surrey, will enable garden plants to be assessed for their performance in a northern climate.
Visitors will also be able to visit the beginnings of the Chinese Streamside Garden, intended as the first authentic Chinese garden in the UK, and the four-acre Woodland Play area designed to encourage children to engage with nature.
RHS director-general Sue Biggs said: “RHS Garden Bridgewater is the result of years of hard work by a dream team of designers, gardeners, contractors and many, many others and we are all enormously proud of what we have created.
“Together with our partners and donors, including Salford City Council and The Peel Group, we are thrilled to finally be able to celebrate this monumental achievement on 18 May.”
Tickets to the garden are set to go on sale from Monday 19th April. The £35m garden had been due to open on 30 July 2020 but pandemic-related issues forced the project team to revise the construction timescale last year.