Musen Landscapes
SEEK Garden

Musen Landscapes SEEK Garden

Inspired by the famous British botanist, Ernest Henry Wilson, whose 1929 book, “China, Mother of Gardens”, documents some of the botanical discoveries he made on his long, exploratory tours of China, Jin Yang seeks to take the viewer on a journey to Yunnan to see what would have awaited him upon his arrival in the province.

The province is both mountainous (sited at the far eastern edge of the Himalayas), and warm, playing host to a wealth of botanic diversity.

Set against the distinctive sandstone evocative of the province, and featuring some of the less well-known varieties of rhododendron, azalea, camellia, viburnum and acer, of the type that Wilson would have brought back to the UK as seed, the garden represents an opportunity to see a number of our best-loved oriental plants set against the naturally undulating rocky backdrop of their provenance.

The focal point of the garden is without doubt the generous auspicious fountain.  Representing , the Chinese character of wealth and luck, the large (9m x 3m) mosaic pool pays homage to the famous lakes of the province, while its bat motifs bestow a wish for good fortune on the viewer.

Finally, hieroglyphs from the native Dongba and Cangyuan cultures, representative of Yunnan’s cultural diversity and rich human history, offer a nod to the caves and landscapes of the region so rich in this traditional technique of recording history.

Now, almost 100 years after E. H. Wilson returned from Yunnan, this intrepid designer is honouring Wilson’s journey with a recreation of the landscape that inspired his many visits to China.

Images of Yunnan Province

Plant List

The planting scheme in the garden is designed to represent some of the many species of plant which originate from Yunnan province, combined with a selection of oriental and more native plants to create an homage to China in our London landscape.

The plant list, which is currently being finalised, is rich in rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, viburnums and acers, of the type that E.H Wilson would have brought back from Yunnan as seed.

Garden Detail

We have designed a special moment of cultural integration, with heritage and inspiration from Yunnan Province bridging to London.  Our red sandstone rocks are inspired by the red rock of our homeland.

  1. Ice-cracked path
  2. Garden bench
  3. Waterscape
  4. Auspicious Fountain
  5. Low Wall
  6. Red Sandstone Rocks
  7. Azaleas
  8. Xerophyte
  9. Sign Board

The auspicious fountain’s surface motif is made from black and white pebble mosaic, inspired by Yin and Yang principles of dark and light, designed to appear as if it is floating.

The province of Yunnan contains a wealth of diverse cultures, spread across 26 different ethnicities. We have chosen to use Naxi Dongba hieroglyphs and Wa Cangyuan murals to showcase some of this rich tapestry of heritage and the history of Yunnan.

Our design was inspired by a famous British botanist – Henry Wilson, and his book in 1929 “China Mother of Gardens”.

During the 16th century, botanists began to introduce rhododendrons from Yunnan province to Europe. Yunnan today has more than 300 kinds of rhododendron, of which 200 kinds have been introduced to UK so far.  In China, some of the plants can only be found in the high altitude mountains, they are not ready to use for city gardens, particularly in London.  By building a garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017, we hope to present the beauty of rhododendron through the eye of the Yunnan people.

Garden Sponsors

Musen Landscapes

Musen landscapes are the premier landscape planning, design, construction and maintenance company from Yunnan Province, China.  With a team of over 200 designers, they specialise in high-end landscapes, including for hotels, catering and spa operations.

Musen employs the principles of long-term quality with an international focus on creative ideas to be the industry leader.