Gardening Scotland, which takes place in the grounds of the Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh from 29th-31st May, will this year be welcoming a Mexican inspired garden which has just won a prestigious Gold Medal at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

The garden is inspired by the masterpiece creation of Las Pozas, by the Scottish artist Edward James, in the town of Xilitla, in the Mexican State of San Luis Potosí.   In association with HSBC and the National Dahlia Collection, the Surreal Pillars of Mexico – designed by Jon Wheatley and built by Scotland-based Keith Jackson – represents one of the main highlights of the exceptional Year of Mexico in the UK, officially announced by HRH the Prince of Wales during his Official Visit to Mexico, with the aim to share with British people the diverse cultural heritage of our country.

Along with the structure of the pavilion of Mexico, inspired by the surrealist movement to which Sir Edward James was profoundly attached, the Dahlia -as national flower of Mexico and the symbol of its floriculture- will play a key role, since indigenous cultures such as the Toltecs and the Aztecs identified it as “water pipe flower” (Chichipatl) and “cane flower” (Cocoxochitl), respectively, due to the hollowness of the plants’ stem.

The Surreal Pillars of Mexico will be dismantled on Saturday evening at Chelsea and arrive in Edinburgh on Tuesday, giving only 48 hours to reproduce a quality, smaller display that took seven days to create at Chelsea. The garden is sure to delight the crowds at Gardening Scotland, Scotland’s national gardening show, just as it is at Chelsea Flower Show this week.

The Ambassador of Mexico to the United Kingdom underlined the importance of showcasing the Surreal Pillars of Mexico garden in Scotland:

“I hope you enjoy the variety of colours and forms presented in the garden, featuring sculptures by the Scottish artist Edward James, whose immense creativity left a footprint in our country, which I invite you to visit in the not so distant future”.

Keith Jackson, on his return from Chelsea, said:

“It was great being part of a successful award winning team at the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show and it will be an honour to assist in the replication of this display at Gardening Scotland, particularly as the display plays homage to Edward James and has a significant Scottish connection. There is currently a resurgence in the popularity of the Dahlia and I hope that this display will help inform the public on the many varieties and how they can be used together for dazzling effect.”

Join us at Gardening Scotland to see this superb Chelsea Gold Medal winning garden, ten spectacular Show Gardens, the Big Back Garden children and families’ area, the Albert Bartlett cookery theatre and Food Fayre and a host of other fantastic exhibits.




  • For three days, the grounds of the Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh undergo a transformation in an explosion of scent and colour. This is Gardening Scotland – the national gardening and outdoor living Show and Scotland’s gardening festival!

It is the biggest plant fair in Scotland and will take place from Friday, 29th May.  Promising to provide everything from an abundance of beautiful plants to tools, equipment, garden furniture and all the inspiration you could need to make your garden grow.

For more information, visit Tickets start from just £13 and are available from the website or by calling 0131 333 0965.

Please follow us on Twitter @GardenScotland and Facebook – Gardening Scotland

  • The Dahlia was declared to be the official flower of Mexico in 1963 and the 4th of August is its National Day. Today there are 42 species of dahlias, and Mexico is home to 41 of these species. The Dahlia has been in Europe for over two hundred years and in 1791 the director of the Royal Gardens of Madrid, named the flower in honour of a Swedish botanist, Andres Dahl.
  • The Year of Mexico to the United Kingdom programme spans more than 100 separate exhibitions, concerts, festivals, academic workshops and artistic residencies; as well as trade missions, research projects, grants and scholarships. Taking place across a number cities in the UK including London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast, Manchester, Oxford, Liverpool and Birmingham, the Year of Mexico will showcase the country’s long history and traditions; modern economic and commercial dynamism; and further underpin its reputation as one of the world’s most exciting destinations for trade, investment and tourism. For more information please visit:

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