American Tanya K Wilson and Swedish born Johanna Norlin from Mallorca Garden Design. | Tanya and Johanna


Spring has come and as every year in May the RHS Chelsea Flower Show attracts an average of 169,000 visitors. The show has been held since 1913 and it is the place to see cutting-edge garden layouts, new plants and discover the latest ideas in garden design. Obviously, this is a topnotch event and probably the best opportunity there is in our part of the world to expose and show your work if you are a landscape artist. It is an event which draws a global crowd and is the ‘haute-couture’ of the international gardening scene. All gardens are judged and compete for medals. The best designers from Japan to New York show off their astonishing creations, nurseries display their latest plant and flower introductions, floral designers compete for their displays and lifestyle brands and manufacturers launch their latest lines at the trade stands. The event attracts coverage of national and international press, lifestyle magazines, radio and TV. The combined audience reach across all channels was incredible 2.1 billion (2019).

Landscaping is a big business in Mallorca and one of the companies on the island called Mallorca Garden Design is run by American Tanya K Wilson and Swedish born Johanna Norlin. They have been selected to exhibit at the Chelsea Flower Show in London, May 24-28.

Johanna Norlin is the founder and creative director of Mallorca Garden Design. Her Swedish heritage with Scandinavian design ethos is used in her design and combined with Mediterranean planting.

Tanya K Wilson is a landscape designer from the United States where she led the design and oversight of high-end residential projects for a renowned building firm.

"We are absolutely delighted and honoured to have been selected for the Chelsea Flower Show. We submitted detailed drawings and comprehensive information about our Mediterranean theme and our container garden design in December last year and the Royal Horticulture Society contacted us at the beginning of the year to tell us we had been accepted for the Container Garden Category. This is a career highlight for us, but it is also a fantastic enjoyable and memorable event to be part of. It is a lot of hard work behind the design, and we have done it parallel to our other regular design- and build projects on Mallorca. The Chelsea Flower Show is the biggest and the most well known garden exhibition in the world so yes, if there is only one garden show one should exhibit in, this is the one! Most British people know what it is but perhaps less familiar to Swedish people unless you are really into gardening. There is a Finnish garden designer exhibiting at the show this year but no other Swedish designers. Tanya is the only American designer at the show as far as we know," says Johanna.

"The idea was to create a Mediterranean Eden for people to discover the pleasure of life in Mallorca. Chelsea offers designers the ultimate showcase for their creativity, so it is a career highlight for us. Each piece in the exhibit is carefully conceived to represent a quality of the Mediterranean such as the back wall, an interpretation of the stone cliffs weathered by sun and sea or the terra rosa coloured planters, which represent the colour of the soil in certain parts of Mallorca. We also wanted to feature a creative combination of ornamental plants for containers suitable for a Mediterranean style," says designer Tanya K Wilson.

So Johanna, the readers understand that the big challenge is the climate difference if you compare working in Sweden to working here in Mallorca, can you tell us your experience?
"Yes, In the Mediterranean you can design but also build gardens almost all year round. We don’t do any planting in the hot summer months. In north Europe the garden is dormant for many months in the winter, and it is not possible to do any planting, so we are spoiled here. The cooler months in Mallorca are lush, fresh, and green! Both gardens and nature look fantastic during the cooler months. The autumn is very pleasant here with more rainfall, the days get cooler, and the plants have a second flush in the autumn. How can one not like January and February here on the island, especially with all the almond trees in flower! Truly amazing. I wish I could say that about the months I disliked the most in Sweden."