The Gardens Group is proud to support The Mary Anning Space to Learn Garden, designed by Julie Haylock from Sandhurst Garden Design, which will be entered into this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show Container Garden Category.

The Mary Anning Space to Learn Garden is inspired by the famous fossil hunter, Mary Anning who was born on 21st May 1799 in Lyme Regis, Dorset on the Jurassic Coast. Mary’s gender, standing in society and lack of formal education was a barrier to her being fully credited for her geological discoveries that would in time, provide hugely important evidence for scientists about our own evolution. In 2023 we celebrate the 200th Anniversary of Mary’s discovery of the first complete fossil remains of a plesiosaurus.

The Gardens Group is supplying a selection of ferns for the garden which make up half of the plants. Varieties include Blechnum Spicant, Asplenium scolopendrium and Asplenium Trichomanes. Other plants being used include a Wollemi Pine, a true living fossil, once thought to be extinct, a Pseudopanax crassifolius and tree ferns will be planted into hollow tree trunk containers resembling volcanoes, which will give the garden a Jurassic effect.

The garden uses nature, fossils, geology and plants to spark the imagination of the children as they step from steppingstone to steppingstone, leading them to find the fossil remains of the plesiosaurus.

At the end of the show, elements of the garden will be re-located to Charmouth Primary School in Dorset, to inspire future generations of scientists.