NSO: Dark Matter - a 'Fresh' Garden at RHS Chelsea 2015
The National Schools’ Observatory and our trusty garden team, Howard Miller (Designer), Dori Miller (Horticulturalist) and David Binks with his crew from Landstruction would like to thank Liverpool John Moores University, the Science and Technology Facilities Council (with special thanks to Colin Johson), Urbis Design, Asterios Agkathidis and all our suppliers for helping us win in the Fresh category at the 2015 RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
BBC Two - Episode 13
BBC Two - Episode 10
BBC One - Episode 2
BBC One - Episode 1
We were lucky enough to be the backdrop for discussions about the Fresh and Artisan gardens in the first RHS Chelsea Flower Show TV show, you can watch this episode online for around a month after the original air date (skip along to 40 minutes if you want to hear about us, or we have a downloadable clip (7.69mb) available) RHS Chelsea Flower Show - 2015: Episode 1
BBC Radio Wiltshire, Jonathan Fido & Karen Gardner, 19 May 2015Andy Newsam speaking about the garden (4.06mb) on BBC Radio Wiltshire.
BBC Radio Wiltshire, Simeon Courtie, 18 May 2015Howard Miller and Andy Newsam speaking about the garden (6.16mb) on BBC Radio Wiltshire.
BBC Radio Merseyside, Simon Hoban, 19 May 2015Andy Newsam speaking about the garden (4.94mb) on BBC Radio Merseyside.
BBC NewsDark matter and bright blooms at the Chelsea Flower Show
"...An astrophysics professor at a flower show seems incongruous, but Prof Mike Bode, from Liverpool John Moores University, has helped create a garden inspired by dark matter - the elusive stuff that seems to make up so much of space but that no-one has quite got a handle on yet..."
The Garden in the Press
Designed by Howard Miller Design Ltd
Built by Landstruction Sponsored by Science and Technology Facilities Council, Liverpool John Moores University, Urbis Design
This garden is the latest example of the National Schools’ Observatory’s mission to use astronomy to enthuse young people about science and technology and its presence at Chelsea 2015 is highly appropriate in the centenary year of Einstein’s theory of general relativity where the bending of light by gravity was first predicted.
"Liverpool John Moores University has teamed up with the 2015 RHS Chelsea Flower Show to help explain the workings of the universe. Through clever design and planting the team from the university’s National Schools’ Observatory has created a garden to explore Dark Matter and its effect on light."
"In the Fresh zone the Dark Matter Garden by Howard Miller is designed to inspire the study of science through astrophysics. Viewers are encouraged to linger and appreciate it on simpler levels too. A huge bowl that looked as though it was made of rusted mild steel was in fact a one-off made of concrete (less expensive than steel); painted with rust paint, it was totally convincing. It was made by Urbis Design from York and cost about £1,200. Curving around this at ground level was a grill made of rusty reinforcing rods that formed a section of paving with shade-tolerant plants growing underneath them. Rusty benches were formed to reflect the curves too. I thought it was all Corten steel but in fact was made of (much cheaper) mild steel. This small garden is clever and highly original."
“...I think you can make a garden out of anything,” says Howard. “It’s an artistic interpretation of scientific principle, but to succeed, it’s crucial that you have the scientists on board to say, yes that is a sound interpretation or no, you’ve misinterpreted it. It has to be scientifically sound because the whole point of the garden is to get more children – and especially more girls – into science, by tapping into their innate fascination with space...”
Dark Matter - the freshest of the Fresh. Smart & Beautifully pic.twitter.com/zD8uk2c7wN— Toby Buckland (@TobyBuckland) May 17, 2015
The Finished Garden
The Build Phase Has Started!
Dark Matter in the News
BBC News, 15 April 2015: Dark matter becomes less 'ghostly'
BBC Radio Four, 12 March 2015: Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss dark matter