Tuesday 24 May 2022

GIVEAWAY! (now closed)

We’re hosting a giveaway!!!

We’ve partnered with August Berg to gift one follower a stunning William Morris Strawberry Thief watch in silver/green!

Head over to our instagram page for full contest details!

Ars Longa, Vita Brevis

RHS Chelsea Flower Show and the Morris & Co. Garden

It is such a delight to see the RHS Chelsea Flower Show with the Morris & Co. garden.

Designed by Ruth Willmott Associates the garden is a modern interpretation of two of William Morris’s most iconic wallpaper designs, Trellis and Willow Boughs, and uses colour and pattern to bring his beautiful interiors into the natural outdoor setting which inspired them.

Incorporating the movement and sound of water into a garden can transform the space, but it’s important to make sure it creates the precise sound and the atmosphere you want to achieve before installing it.

In the Morris & Co. Garden at RHS Chelsea this year, a sequence of water channels will flow though the space inlaid with metal screens that will be laser-cut with Morris’ famous Willow Boughs pattern.

"I have long admired the work of William Morris, so it was a tremendous thrill to create this garden for Morris & Co. and we are all SO delighted to receive a Gold medal!" - Ruth Willmott

"Bringing the garden to life has involved dozens of skilled and dedicated experts each adding a creative layer to the finished garden, and it’s been particularly thrilling to collaborate with so many talented craftspeople this year." - Ruth Willmott


Sunday 15 May 2022

Not Just A Park - Film Screening


Not Just a Park
A History of Toronto Island - Film screening

May 16, 2022, Time: 7:00 PM EDT
Members only Zoom Event 

Filmmaker Michael Kainer has written, directed and produced four feature documentaries, all with Toronto historical or cultural themes. His latest work, "Not Just a Park: A History of Toronto Island" features a rich store of archival images, including many drawn from the holdings of the Toronto Public Library's Special Collections.

Monday 9 May 2022

Morris & Co. Garden at the Chelsea Flower Show


Award-winning garden and landscape designer Ruth Willmott is designing the Morris & Co. Show Garden at RHS Chelsea 2022. Discover more about the planting and layout of the garden in her second Chelsea Flower Show blog excerpts below.

Ruth Willmott in William Morris's garden at Kelmscott Manor


William Morris had a passion for English hedgerows and an affinity to the natural world, so it’s crucial to me that the garden works with nature. I want the planting to reflect a natural, countryside setting and provide a welcoming environment for wildlife.

Morris was an early advocate of using native species and long-cultivated non-natives to attract birds and bees, which is an approach I use in all of my garden designs. So, I’ll be mixing cottage garden favourites such as iris, peony, dianthus, geranium, foxglove and the soft velvety foliage of Stachys byzantina to achieve blue, purple, earthy red and apricot tones. The garden will also feature shrubs chosen to provide shelter, shade and food for wildlife.


Look out for weeping, twisted and pollarded varieties of willow in the garden. This choice was inspired by Morris’s famous ‘Willow Boughs’ design, alongside hawthorn foliage that appeared in his ‘Jasmine’ design.

Elsewhere, cotoneaster, Berberis and viburnum will feature, while roses, which were another of Morris’s favourites, will grow in both rambling and climbing varieties. I’m particularly excited about the spectacular ‘winged thorn’ rose (Rosa sericea subsp. omeiensis f. pteracantha), with its translucent red thorns which glow like rubies in the morning and evening light.

'Trellis’ and ‘Willow Boughs’


Of course, the naturalistic world that inspired Morris was largely to be found in the rural landscape, while our Chelsea Show Garden will be in the heart of London. So, to create the sense of being immersed in a country garden, I’ll use plants in abundance. For me, whether urban or rural, a garden should always have a far greater proportion of soft planting over hard surface. The Morris & Co. Garden, much like all of my projects, will work on a ratio of 3:1 planting to hard landscaping.

Central to the design is a quadrant, inspired by another of Morris’s iconic designs, ‘Trellis’.  This will consist of a series of inter-connecting pathways forming the shape of the garden. It’s this structure that will allow me to manage the volume of plants. All gardens, in fact, benefit from structure underneath soft planting. This allows plants to ramble freely without creating a wholly untamed nature reserve!

Putting everything together

Colour and harmony will be key to the success of the garden so, as the plants slowly begin to emerge, now’s also the time to see how they work together. Most importantly, I’ll be looking at how they blend with other elements in the garden such as the central pavilion, with its laser-cut screens layered with two contrasting colours in the shape of the ‘Willow Boughs’ design.

Everything is looking positive and, with just days to go until we go on site to begin the build, the weather is looking promising too… just as long as the plants don’t peak too soon!

The Morris & Co. Garden can be found on Main Avenue at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show from 23-28 May 2022.
To find out more about the garden design practice Ruth Willmott Associates, click here.
Read Ruth’s first Chelsea Flower Show blog here.