Cemfree’s ground-breaking ultra-low carbon products have emerged as the sustainable solution for garden designs, having been used in three spectacular, award-winning gardens at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show. From its astounding sustainable qualities to its aesthetic appeal, Cemfree’s presence at RHS Chelsea Flower Show marks a significant step towards a greener future in the world of garden design and is proof of the rising popularity of ultra-low carbon products.
Garden Designers Charlotte Harris and Hugo Bugg have created Horatio’s Garden on behalf of Horatio’s Garden charity, which creates accessible gardens in NHS spinal injuries centres. The garden embraces the charity’s missions of creating spaces of sanctuary and hope and has been designed to be immersive and restorative, having been carefully influenced by the ways of seeing and experiencing for patients.
Harris Bugg Studio wanted a permeable terrazzo path that would be both environmentally and patient-friendly, as a gradient-free, joint-free, smooth surface is essential for patients in a wheelchair, but did not want to use traditional concrete due to its negative environmental impact. As a result, Cemfree was asked to provide its cement-free binder, Cemfree Ultra, which resulted in a massive saving of 4,891kg of carbon, the equivalent of three return trips from London to New York, or 14 return trips from London to Barcelona.
The judges at the Chelsea Flower Show were equally astounded by the innovative and meticulously crafted garden design, bestowing upon Horatio’s Garden a prestigious Gold Medal and awarding it as “Best in Show” for 2023.
Designer Mark Gregory, of Landform Consultants Ltd created the Savills Garden. It has been designed to evoke the experience of stepping into an intimate walled garden of a country hotel, with a working kitchen at the heart of the garden to offer the show’s first-ever ‘pot-to-plate’ experience, with the garden’s edible plants being used for all meals on offer. After Chelsea, the garden will go on to be used to teach cookery skills to young people at a residential centre in Nottinghamshire.
Mark wanted to eliminate cement from the garden and as a result, specified Cemfree’s Optima and Masonry Mortar. Cemfree Optima was used for the bedding mortar of high-traffic areas such as the paving slabs, steps and coping stones due to its high performance, and it was also used for the backing in the garden’s streams. Due to the large specification of Cemfree for the Savills Garden, the carbon savings will be just as impressive.
The School Food Matters Garden has been designed by Harry Holding and built by Landscape Associates on behalf of charity, School Food Matters. The garden has been created to be an immersive, forgeable landscape for children to explore and be inspired by nature. The design includes child-sized pathways, calming textural planting and a tranquil space where children have the option to express their views on food and climate change through painting on walls. It has been designed to have the overarching ethos that nutritious food, a healthy planet and access to nature are fundamental rights that every child should have access to. After the show, the garden will be relocated to create an educational resource for school children.
Harry Holding chose Cemfree Optima to stabilise the garden’s rammed earth walls, due to the requirements for the garden to have as positive environmental impact as possible. The curved walls represent soil and are the most essential part of the garden, highlighting the importance of soil health and its role in global climate and biodiversity challenges. The use of Cemfree’s innovative ultra-low carbon product allowed Harry to reach his vision of an environmentally positive design.
The judges were thoroughly impressed by the remarkable sustainable qualities contained within both the Savills Garden and The School Food Matters Garden. As a testament to their excellence, both designs were honoured with a coveted Silver-gilt medal, placing them just one step below the prestigious Gold.
From the restorative oasis of Horatio’s Garden to the enchanting Savills Garden and the immersive School Food Matters Garden, Cemfree’s presence has not only transformed the aesthetics but also the environmental footprint of these remarkable spaces. By significantly reducing carbon emissions and embracing a cement-free future, Cemfree has demonstrated that sustainability and beauty can harmoniously coexist.