• Winner of seven RHS Gold Medals returns, after a one year hiatus, as designer of The M&G Garden

11 November, 2013: M&G Investments, the title sponsor of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and a leading international investment management company, has commissioned award-winning landscape designer Cleve West to create a contemporary paradise garden.

Invented by the Persians more than a thousand years ago, paradise gardens are spaces for sanctuary and contemplation. Cleve is known for designs which combine the classic with the contemporary and in his plan for The M&G Garden he is using ancient elements of water, shade and planting to create a paradise garden fit for 2014. The result is a showcase of how British garden design has evolved yet retains many features that have stood the test of time, an approach that reflects M&G Investments’ own company values.

The M&G Garden’s centrepiece is a tall, octagonal fountain within a sunken base, built from traditional British Bath limestone and flint. The water flows into four rills, through a stone edged sunken terrace and into an octagonal perimeter. The rills are a nod to the four rivers that are said to have flowed through the Garden of Eden, which many might think of as the original paradise garden.

Behind the fountain, flanked by yew hedging, is a vast limestone relief depicting the Tree of Life, painstakingly engraved across five panels by Cleve himself. The tree’s carved roots reach out to the planting below it, giving life to The M&G Garden and representing the roots of many gardens throughout the world.

Arithmetic and ancient science inform other aspects of the design. The number four is referenced again in the planting of four trees around the fountain, representing the classical elements of earth, air, fire and water. Each tree sits in a bed of planting in which perennials, bulbs and herbs jostle for position. Key flora include; English Yew (Taxus baccata), Hairy Canary Clover (Dorycnicum hirsutum), Bay Laurel (Laurus nobilis), Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), Hairy Melic (Melica ciliata), Bear’s Breeches (Acanthus ‘Rue Ledan’), Silver Mound (Artemisia schmiidtiana), Centaurea ‘Phoenix Hybrids’, Dianthus carthusianorum ‘Miss Farrow’,  Gillenia trifoliata, Purple Toadflax (Linaria purpurea), Senecio polyodon, Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), Euphorbia ‘Compton Ash’, Mint (Mentha sp.) and Thyme (Thymus sp.).


“I was inspired by the idea that the ancient gardens of Persia, Greece and Italy still influence the way we create gardens today and I wanted to celebrate that in The M&G Garden. I also enjoy weaving a contemporary dynamic within what might be seen as a traditional context, it can bring a great energy to a garden” said Cleve West. “Paradise to me is any place where you can lose yourself and where, for a moment at least, time stands still, hopefully this garden will allow people the opportunity to do that.”

He continued: “M&G has done a tremendous job working with the RHS as title sponsor of RHS Chelsea and I’m excited to be returning to the Show and working with them.”  

Jacqui Haskins, M&G Marketing Director, commented: “It’s always an honour to be working with the RHS, helping to showcase the best in horticultural design and each time unveiling The M&G Garden anew. We have watched Cleve’s work at previous Shows very closely and so we are thrilled to be working with him for the 2014 Show. Not only do we feel that’s Cleve’s impression of a paradise garden resonates well with our values at M&G, we are also confident that Cleve’s innovative yet contemporary style of planting will produce another crowd pleasing success.”  

2014 marks M&G’s fifth year as the title sponsor of RHS Chelsea. M&G has been managing the money of individuals and institutions for more than 80 years.

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show runs from 20th – 24th May 2014.

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For further information, please contact:

For further information about The M&G Garden please contact: Jack Hickmott or Tori Dance on 0207 2217883

 *The 3D visual of The M&G Garden above is by Nick Dexter.

Twitter: @MandGGarden

About Cleve West
Cleve West is a landscape designer whose creative use of space and sensitive, imaginative planting have put him at the forefront of contemporary garden design in the UK.  He has won a total of seven RHS Gold Medals (four at the Chelsea Flower Show) and three awards for innovative garden design. His 2008 garden for Bupa at the Chelsea Flower Show won the BBC/RHS “People's Choice” award.  And more recently, Cleve has won the coveted “Best in Show” two years in succession for The Telegraph in 2011 and Brewin Dolphin in 2012.

Whether in town or in the country, Cleve will combine structure with sensuality, the classic with the contemporary, invariably embracing the tension between the familiar and unfamiliar to give the garden an ‘edge’. Sustainability is the cornerstone of Cleve’s philosophy. He uses local materials wherever possible and carefully selects plants that work in their surroundings. His planting schemes, natural or contrived, will always be guided by existing flora and local conditions especially where bio-diversity is an issue.

About the RHS
As the world’s leading gardening charity, we help to bring gardening into people’s lives and support gardeners of all levels and abilities; whether they are expert horticulturists, beginners, or children who are planting seeds for the very first time. Gardening improves the quality of life and the RHS believes everyone should have access to great horticultural experiences.

RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 0845 130 4646, or visit

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262

About M&G
M&G is an international active asset manager, investing on behalf of individuals and institutions for over 80 years. M&G offers investors a wide range of funds across equities, bonds, property and multi asset. 

Headquartered in London, M&G employs over 1,500 people worldwide operating from offices across Europe and Asia.

M&G’s history is a story of investment firsts, from Europe’s first mutual fund in 1931 to the Inflation Linked Corporate Bond Fund in 2010.

For more information on M&G Investments, please visit

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