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First out lesbian gardener to exhibit on Chelsea Flower Show's Main Avenue

She invited Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau to come and visit her Canada-inspired garden

First out lesbian gardener to exhibit on Chelsea Flower Show's Main Avenue
Christa Holka
Charlotte Harris's garden is inspired by Canada's boreal forest

An out lesbian gardener will be featured on Chelsea Flower Show’s Main Avenue for the first time.

Charlotte Harris is a top-level gardener with a studio in East London.

She has worked on a number of projects, including planting the garden for the UK pavilion at the Milan Expo 2015, and was part of Hugo Bugg’s masterplanning team at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Jordan.

This year, Harris will become the first out lesbian gardener to exhibit on the main avenue of the UK’s (and maybe even the world’s) most famous and prestigious flower show running from 23 to 27 May.

She designed the Royal Bank of Canada’s 2017 garden, commemorating two major events: the 10th anniversary of RBC’s Blue Water Project as well as the 150th anniversary of the Federation of Canada.

Harris and her all-female design team were inspired by Canada’s boreal forest, earth’s largest intact forest and wetland ecosystem.

Together with her girlfriend Alys, who is also part of the team, Harris explored the region before getting to work.

‘I spent time exploring northern Ontario on foot and by canoe – navigating the waterways, pine forests, flora and granite of the boreal,’ Harris said.

‘This time was a precious source of inspiration for the design, providing an appreciation of what comprises this unique and beautiful environment, as well as the importance of living sustainably and in harmony with our precious ecosystems.’

Charlotte Harris' garden for the 2017 Chelsea Flower Show

Charlotte Harris’ garden for the 2017 Chelsea Flower Show

On her Twitter account, Harris has been documenting work on the garden since realization began in early May.

She also invited Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to come and have a look at the final result.

So far it is not clear whether he will take Harris and the RBC team up on the offer.


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