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RHS award winner creates a Secret Swiss Garden in East London

East London commuters were treated to some Swiss serenity after multi award winning landscaper James Wheatley created a small slice of alpine greenery on a corner of Brick Lane, bringing vitality to an area known more for graffiti than gardens.

Wheatley, who created the The Chris Evans Taste Garden for BBC Radio 2 at the Royal Chelsea Flower Shower earlier this year, designed the garden with the team at Dr.Dünner.

Our new range of Phytovitality products are made from plants and herbs, many of which are grown in the picturesque UNESCO Biosphere Entlebuch close to our headquarters in Switzerland. The garden brought this Swiss vitality to an urban landscape.

Assembled in the early hours, the garden brightened up a bit of Brick Lane and brought life to the area, with bees arriving to pollinate almost immediately. Passers by smiled, stopped and snapped photos.

Plants featured included:

  • Melissa — a calming herb also known as lemon balm that supports digestion, particularly when combined with liquid yellow gentian, mint and calcium 
  • Nasturtium — orange flowering plant rich in vitamin C, perfect for supporting your immune system 
  • Rosemary — whose essential oils stimulate circulation and soothe aching joints 
  • Passion flower — beautiful purple flower plant with calming properties to de-stress 
  • Swiss mint — wonderfully fragrant, refreshing in tea and ideal to help digest 

James Wheatley commented, “This was a very different creation to the kind I'm used to putting together at Chelsea or in rural gardens. It was a challenge finding some of the herbs, but it was worth it to create something that genuinely brought a bit of the Swiss Alps to a London street. Seeing the juxtaposition of the piles of rubbish turn to beautiful flowers and greenery was fantastic, and the reactions we got from people were exactly what we had hoped for.

“Unfortunately we couldn't leave the garden there indefinitely, but we invited passers by to take away the plants and they were snapped up in seconds. It's great to know they'll live on in East London, especially given the number of bees they attracted — we wouldn't want to leave any homeless!”