The Meta Garden: Growing the Future, designed by Joe Perkins

This gold award winning garden from RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2022 has been rehomed here at CONKERS. The National Forest was charity partner for the garden at Chelsea and Meta has funded the rehoming to Conkers, where many more people will be able to enjoy it.

Garden To Visit CONKERS Chelsea Flower Show

The garden was designed to highlight mycelium, the crucial relationship between soil, fungi and plants, which together form the basis of resilient forest ecosystems. The central pavilion reflects the structure and form of fungi that form the underground mycelium.

Chelsea Flower Show Conkers Garden 2022-118

Like nature’s mycelium, it is the communities that have come together to create the National Forest. Local volunteers have planted the garden and continue to care for it.

Volunteers Chelsea Flower Show Garden

The garden is all about championing natural solutions to climate change and how we can both create more and protect our wonderful British woodlands. By reusing the garden and making it more accessible we hope it will help people to connect with each other to better understand, care for and enjoy the National Forest.

Both the original garden and the rehomed version used no concrete in their construction, demonstrating that other techniques can be used to create secure structures.

The trees are included in The Queen’s Green Canopy initiative, which is focused on planting trees to celebrate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

What is mycelium?

As fungi spread connecting threads underground, they can link up to multiple plants, creating webs known as ‘mycelium’.


Joe Perkins, Garden Designer:

“I hope visitors will feel immersed in and inspired by nature’s interconnectedness and the myriad of macro and microscopic networks in nature that depend on each other to heal, grow, and thrive.

 “There is an urgent need to redress the balance of our relationship with the natural world, and there is so much to learn from the connections in nature, both in terms of how we learn to support and preserve sustainable forest ecosystems, and in how we act together as communities ourselves to tackle climate change.

“The garden’s focus on the mycelium, the symbiotic relationship between trees, plants, and the mycorrhizae systems they depend upon, seeks to demonstrate the necessity of connection and how vital it is for the health of all communities.”

Steve Hatch, Meta's Vice-President of Northern Europe:

“The Meta garden: growing the future’ is all about championing natural solutions to climate change and how we can protect our wonderful British woodlands.

“We’ve seen a boom in enthusiastic plant lovers across the UK during the pandemic. Individuals and communities coming together on places like Facebook Groups and Instagram to share their tips, get inspired, and educate themselves on how we can all learn from nature to make more sustainable decisions for our planet.”

John Everitt, Chief Executive of the National Forest:

“This is a forest of people, as much as trees, and is a forest for everyone. We are stronger growing together, as an entity, like the forest itself and the unseen mycelium that underpins its biodiversity.

“The networks of the National Forest are strong, and are essential to the changes we have seen over the past 30 years working with partners to create the Forest. We believe in the power of trees to transform people’s lives and the landscape, and are excited to see Joe Perkins’s Meta garden relocated to the Forest. Many more people will be able to see it here and enjoy his interpretation of our interdependence through a forest-inspired garden.”