Viking Cruises’ ‘Friluftsliv Garden’ has been awarded the Silver Gilt Medal at RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival.

The Viking Fruliftsliv Garden
The Viking Fruliftsliv Garden

The ‘Viking Friluftsliv Garden’ has scooped up the prestigious Silver Gilt medal in the Show Garden category at the 2021 RHS Hampton Court Festival, running from 5th to 11th July.

Created by award-winning garden designer Will Williams, who was previously names RHS Young Designer of the Year in 2018, the garden is inspired by Viking Cruises’ Nordic roots and incorporates the cruise line’s renowned clean, elegant Scandinavian design principles. An amalgamation of the Norwegian words for free, air and life, Friluftsliv (pronounced free-loofts-liv), translates to ‘open-air living’. Highlighting the value of spending time outdoors, the term is often used to express the spiritual and physical benefits of connecting with nature.

The ‘Viking Friluftsliv Garden’ features an alfresco kitchen, exterior fireplace, and a plunge pool with a rendered effect waterwall, as an ode to outdoor living. The garden also boasts a variety of stunning plants, including Astrantia major ‘Abbey Road’ and Scabiosa columbaria ‘Butterfly Blue’, with a pine border.

Anthea Turner on The Viking Fruliftsliv Garden
Anthea Turner on The Viking Fruliftsliv Garden

Speaking about the garden and claiming the prestigious award, Wendy Atkin Smith, Managing Director of Viking UK, said: “Like the RHS, Viking shares a passion for innovation, creativity and excellence and we are delighted to have been awarded a Silver Gilt medal for ‘The Viking Friluftsliv Garden’.

“This is the RHS’ first major outdoor show for 2021 and as headline sponsor we are pleased to play a part in helping visitors reconnect and enjoy the festival. This year’s show focuses on the benefits of gardening and spending time together outside, and the theme – Gardening for Everyone – complements Viking’s inclusive approach.

“With a keen interest in horticulture, many of our guests enjoy spending time outdoors and our voyages allow them to explore even remote parts of the world in comfort, including the Arctic and Antarctica from next year when we launch our new expedition ships.”

James Alexander-Sinclair, Head of Judging at RHS, adds: “This is a really skillfully designed and beautifully executed garden which we are sure will be hugely popular with the public.”

Having graduated from the London College of Garden Design, the garden’s designer Will Williams has built a successful garden design practice, winning contracts for commercial and residential projects across the UK and overseas.

Will Williams and Tom Allen on The Viking Fruliftsliv Garden (2)
Will Williams and comedian Tom Allen on The Viking Fruliftsliv Garden

“t is such an honour to return to the RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival with Viking and to be awarded a Silver Gilt medal,” he explained.

“I have enjoyed bringing ‘The Viking Friluftsliv Garden’ to life. Having travelled on one of Viking’s ocean ships, I was able to personally experience the elegant, understated Scandinavian style they are known for. I was able to use that first-hand knowledge to embrace the Scandinavian concept ‘friluftsliv’ and create a perfectly balanced garden where nature and contemporary design complement each other. I hope visitors find a space in our garden to relax, reconnect and socialise and feel inspired to create their own open-air living garden.”

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