Accessible, fun gardens you can copy at home
The show gardens along The Avenue are an intrinsic part of the Harrogate Spring and Autumn Flower Shows – simple but stylish designs with a lot of humour and little unnecessary artiness to put ordinary gardeners off.
To me, medals don’t count here – it’s the ones that went down best with the public that matter (Horticap and Henshaws, that means you two)!
Here is a look at this year’s gardens – hope they give you some inspiration.
A Homecoming Prayer – 6th Regiment, Royal Logistics Corps
The biggest show garden ever at Harrogate Flower Shows, this is a memorial space for the 6th Regiment Royal Logistics Corps, who recently returned to the UK from Germany. After the show, the garden will be relocated to their base at Dishforth Airfield, near Thirsk.
It is built in a Japanese style, and the circular design and screening create isolation from the garden’s surroundings, while a central, cedar clad prayer house and seating area offer the perfect place for thought and meditation. In keeping with Japanese traditions, planting focuses strongly on foliage and structure, with bamboo and grasses, plus lavender to bring calm and attract wildlife.
In keeping with Japanese traditions, planting focuses strongly on foliage and structure, with bamboo and grasses, plus lavender to bring calm and attract wildlife.
A Fresh Start: The Year of Greenery
This garden focuses on the Pantone colour of the year, Greenery. Both soft and hard landscaping mimic the traits of the colour wheel. Warm yellow-greens are set against cool and fluid blue-greens, while bold, dark evergreens strike a contrast against sparkling limes. Features include a timber pergola with seating and a cascading water blade river flowing into a pond.
Category: Professional. Size: 5m x 5m. Designer: Paxman Landscapes UK Ltd.
This garden is based on three circular elements depicting childhood, adulthood and the later years. It is a place of quiet contemplation with a free-flowing design to represent life’s ups and downs.
A water feature provides soothing sound, while a central table brings the opportunity to relax with a game of chess. Planting reflects favourite places and adventures around the world, bounded by fencing in the form of the double helix of human DNA demonstrating the limits that can be set by our genes.
Category: Professional. Size: 8mx 6m. Designer: Askham Bryan College.
If You Go Down to the Woods
Designed to capture the vision for a community woodland garden being re-developed – stepping stones lead you to a giant spider web and bug hotel, a wildlife pond and Victorian-style fern stumpery.
Category: Community Spirit. Size: 5m x 5m. Designer: Henshaws Arts and Crafts Centre.
A Little Bit of Magic
After their success with the Wallace and Gromit last spring, Horticap has decided to use The Magic Roundabout for inspiration, with bright colours and hand-made characters by the students.
Category: Community Spirit. Size: 6m x 4m. Designer: Horticap Ltd.
Colour Your Garden – a Spring Tapestry
Vivid spring colours combine with the more subtle hues of the season, overlaid on a contemporary grid layout. The soft textures of grasses, ferns, and perennials contrast with clipped blocks of yew and box.
The garden is set against a backdrop of multi-stem trees, underplanted with ferns and grasses, with a woven screen by sculptor Emma Stothard. Cubes of hand-patinated steel hold reflective water, their bold shapes in contrast to the softness of the planting and echoing the forms of the box and yew.
Category: Professional. Size: 8m x 6m. Designer: Alistair W Baldwin Associates.
The Wonders of the Brain
Celebrating the wonders of the brain, this garden aims to highlight the work of the Yorkshire Brain Research Centre into disorders such as epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and dementia.
Planting reflects the four main brain functions – rosemary and lilac for memory (temporal area); bright flowers and variegated foliage representing colour and pattern in vision (occipital); sensory planting depicting sensation (parietal); and soft grasses with formal structured planting for planning and movement (frontal).
Category: Professional. Size: 8m x 5m. Designer: The Yorkshire Brain Research Centre (YBRC).
Out of Yorkshire
Demonstrating how a garden can grow from its surrounding landscape, this design uses Yorkstone in three different states to create distinct formal and naturalistic areas of the garden.
The heart of the garden is a seating area enclosed by partially constructed dry stone walling and a formal rill, which runs into a naturalistic pool set within rockery stones. Planting will be native and naturalised to reflect the Yorkshire landscape in spring.
Category: Professional. Size: 6m x 5m. Designer: Austin’s Gardens.
There’s Water Under the Bridge
This garden has been created by the ‘Artyculturals’ of HMP Kirklevington Grange. A drift of alliums represents the many layers of the human mind, while life’s ups and downs are depicted by a special Yin Yang seating area.
A den of reflection is created by black bamboo prison bars, softened by climbers, while water cascading into a wishing well represents the time and trouble it can take to right wrongs.
Category: Professional. Size:10m x 8m. Designer: HMP Kirklevington Grange.