Northamptonshire gin makers to star at Chelsea Flower Show

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Northamptonshire gin makers Warner Edwards will have a show garden at the Chelsea Flower Show.

Britain’s leading super-premium, farm-born gin is bringing a touch of its countryside home to the RHS show, partnering with esteemed garden designer Helen Elks-Smith.

The award-winning garden designer is using inspiration from the natural springs at Falls Farm in Harrington, near Rothwell – the home of the Warner Edwards Gin Distillery.

Said to be built ‘on rock and water’, the naturally occurring springs and aquifers of Falls Farm inspired a playful and imaginative water feature, that appears and disappears throughout the garden.

Regionally-sourced natural stone and materials will anchor the design which contains a complex cantilevered roof and supporting structure.

Oxford artist Wendy Newhofer is creating bespoke, hand crafted glass panels which will feature a blue tint created from copper reacting with the glass – inspired by the distillation process that takes place at the farm.

With a nod to architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece Fallingwater and an emphasis on the horizontal plane, an enclosure has been designed for relaxed entertaining with views to the wider landscape beyond and underpinned by subtle, textural planting.

The garden will feature planting such as Juniperus Communis – an evergreen conifer which has berries that are used to flavour gin; Crataegus Persimilis ‘Prunifolia’ – a broad-leaved cockspur thorn; mixed native hedging – an important part of English countryside and Rosmarinus officinalis – which will be used on site to garnish gin and tonics.

The garden will provide a relaxed space for socialising and engaging with family and friends, and central to the design is an impressive sheltered courtyard referencing the tranquil setting of Falls Farm.

Situated on Main Avenue, the garden’s central column will include elements of copper and water inspired by the internal process that occurs in Curiosity – the still that creates the six famed Warner Edwards gin variants.

Tom Warner said: “In Helen, we have found someone who has the experience and vision to bring our brand to life in garden form.

“We knew immediately she would be perfect and had to get her on board.

“Last year, we were lucky enough to win a silver award, and so our hopes are high for another win this year!

“We quickly discovered that she had an existing love for our gin, and already knew the brand, but not the story.

“Helen joined us at Falls Farm, where we took her through the distillation process and our farm-born story.

“She built a real connection with the farm and our story, and within a few days, she had produced a stunning visual design that really connected and resonated with us – we can’t wait to see it come to life in May!”

Helen Elks-Smith said: “I’m so excited to be working with Warner Edwards.

“I’m a huge fan of their gin, and it’s been really interesting to learn so much about how they sustainably grow and distil the liquid on their farm.

“The designs we’ve created take inspiration from a number of the farm’s features, such as the springs and the natural stone.”

To celebrate their third year of exhibiting at RHS Chelsea Flower Show, Warner Edwards will be serving refreshing gin-based cocktails and long drinks at their Gin Barn Bar, a wonderful re-creation of their farm, distillery and botanical gardens.

They will also be busily distilling an exclusive gin live in the Jardin Blanc hospitality suite.

Warner Edwards has an ongoing partnership with the RHS and since launching Honeybee Gin in 2017 has been donating a portion of the profits from sales towards RHS initiatives.

Consumers who purchase a bottle of Honeybee Gin receive a packet of wildflower seeds to plant their own bee-friendly botanicals and support Warner Edwards’ commitment to helping the bee population.

An ongoing partnership with RHS Garden Wisley now sees Warner Edwards hives from Falls Farm permanently sited in Wisley’s Heather Garden where the Warner Edwards team are educating the local Wisley team on beekeeping and supporting pollinators.