Flower show's answer when nature calls

At the Royal Horticultural Society headquarters, thoughts have already turned to spring and the 2011 Chelsea Flower Show.

With plans to launch a new category of show garden for 2011 – called the Artisan Garden – one designer is taking the instruction to use natural, sustainably-resourced materials at its most fundamental level, by creating a garden incorporating a lavatory.

Korean designer Jihae Hwang's project is entitled "The Hae-Woo-So (Emptying One's Mind: Traditional Korean Toilet)". It's filled with wild flowers, grasses and Hedera – or ivy – which "cleans the air and promotes sustainability of micro-organisms". Ivy is useful in any garden, both as a food and a habitat for wildlife.

The lavatory proper is an attractive wooden structure set at the end of a path which leads through the flowers. According to the designer, it thus allows the act of emptying oneself to take place in the most natural and free setting. The concept is to capture more than the simple function of the lavatory, by attempting to tell the story of the inner self: Hae-Woo-So refers to a place where you empty your mind.

The lavatory is not just symbolic, however. It is the major structure in the garden and is designed to serve a functional purpose – making fertiliser from human waste. Its entrance is deliberately low, which ensures that users have to bend their heads and lean forward as they enter, in a gesture of humility. Outside, there is a traditional granite bowl that serves as a water fountain, where the water can be used as a natural bidet.

The RHS is often accused of being po-faced, but Bob Sweet, RHS head of shows' development, takes a robustly matter-of-fact view of Ms Hwang's theme. He said: "In any year exhibitors bring many diverse interests to the show, both in terms of plants and cultural references and this garden brings a further element to RHS Chelsea's already outstanding repertoire for 2011."

Other Artisan Gardens will include The Basildon Bond Garden, which pays homage to the birthplace of one of Britain's most famous writing-paper brands at Apsley Mill in Hemel Hempstead.

The brand's signature blue is the colour theme, picked up by grasses and Iris and, appropriately for a garden associated with letter-writing, there will also be a post box. The designer is William Quarmby, RHS National Young Designer of the Year 2010 runner-up. Kati Crome and Maggie Hughes's "A Postcard from Wales" is inspired by Dylan Thomas's home town of Laugharne. The garden features fruit trees, common salt marsh plants and pathways made from Welsh slate slabs with cockleshell edging.

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
PROMOTED VIDEO
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there