Stories

RHS Chelsea Flower Show Tree Textile Wraps

Garden Designer, Helen Elks-Smith commissions Tori to design textile tree wraps for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

May 2014

Tori is working with award-winning garden designer Helen Elk-Smith and the City of London Corporation to design bespoke textile tree wraps for the heads of Englisg oak trees in Helen's Oak Processionary Moth Show Garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.  


All parties wish to highlight the devastation that the moth, and particularly its caterpillars, can cause to our native oak trees - stripping them of all leaves and killing the tree.   Helen's design aims to raise public awareness and to encourage the public to be vigilant about reporting outbreaks.  Although a difficult message to put across, Tori knew the textile had to be beautiful to capture the public’s imagination and draw their attention.  The textile is designed to highlight the essence of the moth’s shape and the distinctive processions that the caterpillars travel in.  The design will be printed on voile to create the ethereal look Helen desires..


Tori is very excited to be involved in the project and will be researching not only the moth and its behaviour, but also how to treat fabrics so they meet both the standards of safety required by the RHS but also survive the British weather!


In helen's plan for the garden, a stand of trees is shrouded by bespoke textiles that represent the cocoons spun around the chrysallis and the white silken wedding nests characteristic of the Oak Processionary Moth.  The textile wraps are designed to represent shrouds associated with the death of the tree, wrapping around the threatened trees to create unqiue sculptural forms with an ethereal quality.  


Event Details:

RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Royal Hospital, Chelsea, London, SW3 4SL

City of London Corporation - OPM Garden for RHS Chelsea

Design by Helen Elks-Smith

Textiles by Tori McLean


Tuesday 20th May to Saturday 24th May 2014

Tuesday 20th - Friday 23rd May : 8am–8pm

Saturday 23rd May: 8am–5:30pm


Helen's wonderful show garden garnered much interest from the public and went on to win a silver medal.