From Corsica to Chelsea Gold

Peter Dowle - Designer
The Story of the Immortelle Garden

Following the success of our 2010 silver medal-winning Monaco garden, we set out to win gold at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2012 enlisting the expert help of renowned garden designer Peter Dowle - a true expert in recreating unique garden experiences.

A Celebration of Immortelle

The key inspiration for this year’s garden came from the immortelle plant - the central ingredient in our best-selling skincare range. Immortelle, also known as the flower that never fades, originates from Corsica where we sustainably and organically cultivate the local variety Helichrysum Italicum, for the anti-ageing properties of the essential oils.

Growing on the rolling hills of Corsica, immortelle spreads a sweet scent which meets you as soon as you set feet on the beautiful island. Immortelle is a true symbol of this Provencal island.

The Immortelle Garden
The Jewel of the Mediterranean

To discover the story of immortelle we invited Peter Dowle to travel to Corsica. He here was not only met by the scents of the Corsican Marquis but he also first handed experienced the colours, scents and textures of this unique and dramatic home of the ingredient, giving him hiss design inspiration for this year’s Immortelle Garden.

A little bit of Corsica to Chelsea

With only seven days to go, the team of gardeners began. The large cork oak was planted and large rocks were laid to create a pathway to the cabinon helping the garden to take shape. Over the next few days the site magically came alive with French lavender, immortelle flowers and other key ingredients filling the garden with their signature scents.

Amanda Holden
Show Week

Monday saw the official opening of the show and the judgement for the gold medals. As well as the judges, a number of VIPs dropped by to give the garden their seal of approval including Alan Titchmarch and the BBC crew, Amanda Holden who officially launched our Immortelle garden, and of course the founder of L'OCCITANE himself - Olivier Baussan visiting his favourite flowers in all of their glory.

We Won Gold!

Finally the day arrived and we learned our Immortelle garden had received a gold! Hurray for another great year at Chelsea!