The Newt’s Roman Garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2024

In a celebration of history, The Newt in Somerset unveils a captivating homage to the grandeur of the Roman Empire at the esteemed RHS Chelsea Flower Show this spring.

With a rich tapestry of architectural prowess and botanical finesse, The Newt’s team of adept architects and seasoned horticulturists meticulously recreates the allure of ancient Pompeii and the broader Naples region circa 78 AD.

A Tradition Reimagined: The Newt’s Roman Inspiration

Central to The Newt in Somerset’s ethos is an unwavering dedication to infusing innovative twists within the tapestry of horticultural traditions. Drawing inspiration from their recent restoration of a 4th Century AD Roman Villa nestled within the Somerset estate’s embrace, the team embarks on a creative odyssey to fashion a peristyle courtyard garden.

This verdant sanctuary, emblematic of Roman affluence, reflects the harmonious interplay between architecture and nature, encapsulating an era of opulence and leisure.

Embarking on an immersive journey through time, visitors to RHS Chelsea 2024 are transported to an epoch of splendour, enveloped by the hues, scents, and botanical marvels reminiscent of antiquity.

Amidst the sensory spectacle, guests are treated to the warmth of Somerset hospitality, complete with a quaint cyder stand and a hospitality suite steeped in the rustic charm of the West Country estate.

The Grandeur Unveiled: The Newt’s Roman Garden

Set within the heart of the main showground, The Newt in Somerset unveils ‘A Roman Garden’, a meticulously curated masterpiece echoing the architectural opulence of the 1st Century AD.

The Newt's Roman Garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2024

Conceived to maximise spatial dynamics, the garden serves as a testament to the Romans’ discerning eye for design and the symbiotic relationship between human ingenuity and natural beauty. A symphony of colours, fragrances, and ornamental plantings beckons, while medicinal flora whispers ancient secrets of health and wellbeing.

Over 1,600 plants, spanning 13 varieties revered in antiquity, adorn the peristyle garden, weaving a botanical tapestry that resonates with historical authenticity. At the garden’s heart stands a majestic mulberry tree, a focal point flanked by the regal presence of wild cherry and pomegranate trees.

Embracing both form and function, the garden boasts medicinal herbs like chamomile and lavender, offering solace amidst their soothing embrace. Meanwhile, opium poppy and thyme stand as stalwart sentinels, guarding against ailments with ancient remedies.

Nurturing Horticultural Legacies: The Newt’s Commitment to Education

Beyond its showcase at RHS Chelsea, The Newt in Somerset remains steadfast in its commitment to nurturing horticultural legacies. In alignment with the Royal Horticultural Society’s noble pursuits, The Newt champions scientific inquiry, educational outreach, and community engagement, thereby fostering a symbiotic relationship anchored in a shared reverence for nature’s splendour.

At the vanguard of this educational odyssey lies The Newt’s Garden Apprenticeship Programme, a beacon of hope for aspiring horticulturists poised to navigate the verdant labyrinth of botanic artistry.

Complementing this initiative, The Newt proudly co-hosts the esteemed ‘Young Horts’ Breakfast at Chelsea, offering a platform for emerging talents to glean insights from seasoned industry luminaries.

Cultivating Tomorrow’s Stewards: The Newt’s School Initiatives

Eager to sow the seeds of curiosity in burgeoning gardeners, The Newt extends its educational outreach beyond the confines of Somerset’s verdant embrace. Welcoming over 3,000 children through its immersive ‘Roman Villa Education Programme’, The Newt orchestrates a symphony of experiential learning, igniting youthful imaginations with the allure of ancient wonders.

The Newt's Roman Garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2024

As the estate embarks on expanding its ‘Outdoor Education Programme’, a further 1,100 children are poised to embark on a journey of discovery, forging connections with nature that transcend the boundaries of time and space.

A Journey Through Time: The Newt’s Garden Heritage

Complementing its educational endeavours, The Newt in Somerset beckons visitors on a transcendent voyage through the annals of garden history. The ‘Roman Villa – Villa Ventorum’, a veritable archaeological gem unveiled in 2022, offers a sensory immersion into the vibrant tapestry of Romano-British life.

Simultaneously, ‘The Story of Gardening’ unfolds as a captivating narrative, weaving together the disparate threads of human ingenuity across cultures and epochs. Meanwhile, the enigmatic ‘Beezantium’ invites intrepid souls to unlock the mysteries of apiary life, offering a glimpse into the intricate dance of bees amidst a honeyed realm.


The Newt in Somerset’s triumphant debut at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2024 stands as a testament to the enduring allure of history, innovation, and horticultural mastery.

Through the meticulous recreation of a Roman Garden, the estate not only honours the grandeur of antiquity but also fosters a profound connection between past and present.

As visitors traverse the verdant corridors of time, they are enveloped in a sensory tapestry that transcends mere botanical splendour, offering glimpses into the rich tapestry of human ingenuity and natural beauty.

The Newt’s unwavering commitment to education, community engagement, and environmental stewardship underscores its status as a beacon of inspiration and conservation.

As the petals of the Roman Garden unfurl, they unfurl a narrative of resilience, renewal, and the timeless pursuit of harmony with nature.

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