A Swiss Sanctuary at the Chelsea Flower Show 2022

Switzerland Tourism will be exhibiting at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London, UK on 24-28 May 2022. Its entry, A Swiss Sanctuary, was designed by the British landscape architect and garden designer Lilly Gomm and will compete in the ‘Sanctuary Gardens’ category. On the initiative of Switzerland Tourism, and in partnership with the Ticino Region, Bern Region and Lake Geneva Region, the garden will highlight some of the many reasons to visit the picturesque cities and scenic countryside of Switzerland.

Described by designer Lilly Gomm asan imaginary personal haven that draws together the unique flora typifying Switzerland’s different regions’, A Swiss Sanctuary will mix alpine and Mediterranean planting to illustrate the country’s distinctive and rich natural landscapes. It will also draw on the Swiss ethos for sustainability and convey the year-round appeal of this destination – spring for culture and festivals, summer for hiking and outdoor activities in the Alps, autumn for food and wine, and winter for winter sports and pure white panoramas.

The garden showcases what Switzerland has to offer with an interpretation within the boundaries of an urban garden, demonstrating how you can create your own sanctuary reflecting experiences, interests, and travels within a small space. Large stones act as a garden sized representation of mountains in the landscape; incorporating a water feature gently falling into a central body of water brushing a seating area that mimics the waterfront edges seen by many of Switzerland’s clear water lakes.

The planting will offer a mixture of colors and contrasting textures combined to flow from one to another, celebrating variety in one place. The combination of alpine and Mediterranean plants, both symbolic of Switzerland, will aim to show a way of bringing different types of plants together within a small space without fear. As fruit trees are seen widely throughout the Swiss landscape key plants will include an apple tree alongside Scots pine, Pinus sylvestris, seen in natural forests across Switzerland. Edelweiss as a plant symbolic of Switzerland, gentian an alpine synonymous with the Alps; and roses which are regularly seen in parks and gardens of cities throughout the country.

Switzerland’s cities all share one thing in common: most of them have nearby gardens and leafy parks. These are the perfect way to escape everyday life for a moment, with a small picnic or good book. Villa Langmatt Park in Baden is a total work of art and is the perfect refuge for a romantic picnic. The Rose Garden in Bern is a mecca for flower lovers and a great place to unwind. It features a restaurant in a prime location and a wonderful view of Bern. The park is home to 220 different types of roses, 200 types of irises and moor beds with 28 different types of rhododendrons. The park surrounding the Villa dei Cedri in Bellinzona, which today is home to the Municipal Museum for Modern and Contemporary Art, is a living example of an English-style park of the 19th century. The La Grange Park in Genève sits right next to the Eaux-Vives Park and offers a unique view of the lake basin. The wonderful flower garden stretches out over 12,000 square metres and delights its guests with more than 200 varieties of roses. Escape the hustle and bustle of daily life for a short while and enjoy a picnic in the museum garden of the Oskar Reinhart “Am Römerholz” collection in Winterthur.




  1. This bring back memories of a trip to Switzerland about 15 years ago and I got to visit the Rose Garden in Bern. Though I recall it being fairly chilly and overcast for a day in late May. I’ll have to dig out my photos from my trip and look at them again soon!


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