Warner’s – the UK's leading farm-grown super-premium craft gin – has been awarded a Silver Gilt medal for their Show Garden at this year's RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
The brand partnered with esteemed garden designer, Helen Elks-Smith, to create The Warner's Distillery Garden, which brought a touch of its farm home to Main Avenue.
The multi award-winning garden designer used inspiration from the natural springs at Falls Farm in Northamptonshire – the home of the Warner’s Gin Distillery. Said to be built 'on rock and water', the naturally occurring springs and aquifers of Falls Farm inspired playful and imaginative water features, which run quietly through different areas of the garden, appearing and disappearing. The remains of stepped terraces of a medieval manor house that lie within the farm’s fields inspired the linear roofs, with a nod to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater. Below these roofs lies an enclosure underpinned by subtle, textural planting, designed for relaxed entertaining with views to the wider landscape.
Regionally sourced natural stone and materials anchored the design which contained a complex cantilevered roof and supporting structure. Oxford-based artist, Wendy Newhofer, created bespoke, hand crafted glass panels which featured a blue tint created from copper reacting with the glass – inspired by the distillation process that takes place at the farm.
The garden featured planting such as Juniperus Communis - an evergreen conifer which has berries that are used to flavour gin; Crataegus Persimilis 'Prunifolia' - a broad-leaved cockspur thorn; mixed native hedging - an important part of English countryside and Rosmarinus officinalis – which was used on site to garnish gin and tonics.
The garden provided a relaxed space for socialising and engaging with family and friends, and central to the design was an impressive sheltered courtyard referencing the tranquil setting of Falls Farm. The garden’s central column also included elements of copper and water inspired by the internal process that occurs in 'Curiosity' - the still that creates the seven famed Warner’s gin variants.
Commenting on the medal win, Tina Warner-Keogh said: “We're simply delighted to have been awarded a Silver Gilt medal for The Warner's Distillery Garden! Helen had a fantastic vision for our Show Garden right from the start and it's been fascinating to watch that vision become a reality over the last few weeks.
Founded by Tom Warner and Tina Warner-Keogh in 2012 with the aim of ‘saving the world from mediocre gin’, Warner’s gins are hand crafted on the family-owned farm. Drawing water from their spring, growing seasonal botanicals, and collecting fresh honey from their own farm’s beehives – Warner’s is a truly farm-born ‘graft’ gin.
Helen Elks-Smith, added: “I am absolutely thrilled to receive a Silver Gilt medal for the Warner's Distillery Garden and my first Main Avenue show garden at Chelsea. Like all garden projects it has been a huge team effort.
"I am very grateful to Bowles & Wyer for their skills and the genuine passion they have shown in creating the garden and to the nurserymen, artists and craftsman who have helped us to achieve a Silver Gilt medal.
"I had a great brief from Warner's and it has been a wonderful experience creating a garden that captures my interpretation of Falls Farm, the home of Warner's Distillery."
Warner’s has an ongoing partnership with the RHS and since launching Honeybee Gin in 2017 has been donating a portion of the profits from sales towards RHS initiatives. Every bottle of Honeybee Gin includes a packet of wildflower seeds to encourage people to plant their own bee-friendly botanicals and support Warner’s commitment to helping the bee population. An ongoing partnership with RHS Garden Wisley now sees Warner’s hives from Falls Farm permanently sited in Wisley’s Heather Garden where the Warner’s team are educating the local Wisley team on beekeeping and supporting pollinators.