From naturalistic to boundary-pushing garden design at flower show
Brilliance in Bloom
Sponsor: Stark & Greensmith, Simon Probyn Sculpture, Nickie Bonn & Art4Space, Friends of Dorking, Mears Group, The Palm Centre, Rolawn, Dyofix Designer: Charlie Bloom Contractor: Urban Growth & Action Now
Conceived as a platform for craftspeople in small organisations, to showcase their skills and dedication on a massive stage. Every element exhibits the talents of designers and makers co-operating between trades. All materials are borrowed and will be reused. Brilliance in Bloom will hopefully inspire people to experiment in their own gardens, whether it be with metalwork, water play or mosaics or innovative planting.
Planting/colour scheme: A riot of colour, in planting and structural hedging, with Achillea and dramatic Imperata Red Baron. The perennials and larger planting create the main structure with bursts of steel, and stone and water flow through to tie them all together.
The Viking Cruises Nordic Lifestyle Garden
Sponsor: Viking Cruises Designer: Stephen Hall Contractor: Castle Gardening
Recreating a Nordic woodland setting, a path leads up to a clearing with stone-paved seating, next to a traditional sauna hut with a sedum roof. A wood-framed plunge pool sits in a naturally occurring pool of spring water. Large boulders appear through areas of meadow grass.
Planting/colour scheme: Traditional Nordic culinary or medicinal plants, with some wildflower species. Five key plants – Betula utilis var jacquemontii, Pinus sylvestris, Dryopteris filix mas, Campanula glomerata Alba and Malva moscahata Alba.
The Children with Cancer UK Mr Happy Mr Worry Hill
Sponsor: Mr Men Little Miss/Mister Men Ltd Designer: Emma Reed, Reed Studio Contractor: Blakedown Landscapes
Highlighting the resilience and emotional experiences of families living with cancer. The garden is set within Misterland, home of the Mr Men characters. The key theme is a split hill with Mr Men illustrations – one side represents ‘happy’ and the other represents ‘worry’. A passage tells the charity’s story and has a light wall on one side to signify hope, and a waterfall symbolising tears opposite.
Planting/colour scheme: Ferns and damp-loving plants, cloud-pruned box, and daisy-faced flowers in yellow, orange, blue and purple. Five key plants – Echinacea (Hot Lava, Summer Cocktail and Tiki Torch), Rosa Parkdirektor Riggers, Cedrus deodara Feelin Blue, Soleirolia soleirolii and creepers.
The RNIB Community Garden
Sponsor: RNIB – Royal National Institute for the Blind Designer: Steve Dimmock & Paula Holland Contractor: Mark Nelson Landscapes
A garden to celebrate RNIB’s 150 years and inspired by Dimmock’s own temporary sight loss. This informal community garden is a safe and accessible space with sun-loving, fragrant, pollinating and sensory textured planting, water features and a sculpture. Key features are the corten steel screens with windows and filters, allowing visitors to experience what it’s like to suffer conditions leading to sight loss.
Planting/colour scheme: Grasses and plants with texture, movement, sound and fragrance, with light and dark planting. Five key plants: Prunus serrula, Betula utilis ‘Jacquemontii’, Rosa, Pennisetum villosum and Salvia.
The South West Water Green Garden
Sponsor: South West Water Designer: Tom Simpson Contractor: Rosebank Landscaping
Inspired by the recyclability of water, the garden highlights the importance of ‘Downstream Thinking’ – a campaign to encourage the sustainable management of rainwater. The garden is a visual representation of water, with fluid curves that flow towards a central circular seating area and water feature.
Planting/colour scheme: Plants suitable for rain gardens, tolerating both dry and waterlogged. Colours are mainly blues, purples, whites and grasses, with deep red and purple accents. Structure will be given by curved hornbeam hedging. Key plants: Betula nigra, Carpinus betulus, Miscanthus sinensis, Osmunda regalis and Dryopteris filix-mas.
The South Oxfordshire Landscape Garden
Designer: Rory Andrews, Contractor: Thompson Garden Services
Inspired by the Thames in South Oxfordshire, a reclaimed brick terrace and wall relief mimic the Brunel railway bridge near Cholsey and Moulsford. Two rills replicate the Thames. The garden is blanketed in swathes of sedge, with dots of colour popping through. Closer to the rills, colourful planting of wildflowers contrasts with clipped topiary.
Planting/colour scheme: Mainly whites, blues and soft pinks with splashes of yellow. Five key plants: pollarded Salix alba Chemisina, Taxus baccata dome-clipped, Carex muskingumensis, Melica altissima Alba and Lythrum salicaria.
Anton Chekhov’s Garden
Sponsor: Anton Chekhov Foundation Designer: Anna Benn and Hannah Gardner Contractor: Burnham Landscapes
This Russian-themed garden is derived from the life of Anton Chekhov, a passionate gardener. This design is inspired by the garden surrounding a house in which he wrote The Seagull. Chekhov’s table sits amid apple trees in a tall meadow where grasses, crops, flowers and medicinal herbs intermingle. At the boundaries are silver birch and conifers.
Planting/colour scheme: Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) and medicinal herbs create a mixed meadow – maroons, dusky pinks, ochre, blues and soft yellow. Key plants: lilac, apples, conifers, silver birch, Perovskia atriplicifolia, Calamagrostis emodensis, Phlox, Deschampsia caespitose perennials and Rosa rugosa.
Secured By Design
Sponsor: Secured By Design, Metropolitan Police Service, Capel Manor College Designer: Lucy Glover & Jacqueline Poll
The ethos of this garden is that city/urban spaces should be secure, sustainable and enjoyable while raising awareness of garden crime. There is a contemporary entertaining area with a wooden table centrepiece. Safety features will deter intruders.
Planting/colour scheme: The planting is inspired by Trentham Gardens, with columnar fastigate trees providing evergreen interest. Verbena bonariensis will be used as ‘curtain planting’ and the security planting will include Pyracantha and Berberis. Five key plants: Pittosporum tenuifolium Tom Thumb, Osmanthus heterophyllus, Pyracantha, Echinops and Echinacea.
The Landform Garden Bar
Sponsor: Landform Consultants Designer: Rhiannon Williams Contractor: Landform Consultants
Embracing an al fresco lifestyle, the garden is an extension of the home. Taking inspiration from the Hotel Alma in Barcelona, it features a multifunctional bar and an entertaining space with low informal seating surrounding a fire bowl.
Planting/colour scheme: A solid green base with bursts of burnt oranges and white. Topiary cubes give a structured feeling. Spurge varieties give a range of green shades. Five key plants: Euphorbia, Taxus, Digitalis, Dryopteris and Hebe.
Southend Young Offenders ‘ A Place to Think’
Sponsor: Southend Council Designer: James Callicott Contractor: Southend Young Offenders
An informal garden designed to provide young people with a calming space. The garden was built by young offenders to learn new skills. A water feature surrounded by grassy planting provides movement and a gentle sound.
Planting/colour scheme: Birch is planted at the entrance to give height and enclose the deck, while central planting is meadow-like and soft, with Deschampsia cespitosa woven through pinks, blues and purples. Five key plants: Achillea, Eremurus, Betula, Cornus and Agapanthus.
The Limbcare Wellbeing Garden
Sponsor: Limbcare Designer: Edward Paul Mairis Contractor: The Garden Concierge
The garden is designed to bring a message of hope to amputees and their families and highlights the key events in their lives. Visitors enter via a natural wilderness and it gradually becomes perfectly ordered. The bridge represents where the amputee reaches out to the charity and receives a helping hand. The design is wheelchair friendly, with plenty of places for socialising. Signs with word clouds depict the emotions of the amputee contributors. The garden has been built by 12 people who have lost limbs.
Planting/colour scheme: Informal and formal planting, with plants chosen for form and colour moving from dark to light. Key plants: Buddleja, Hydrangea paniculata, Veronicastrum, Penstemon, Nicotiana, Digitalis and Calamagrostis, plus coppiced eucalyptus and other foliage plants.
B&Q’s Bursting Busy Lizzie Garden
Sponsor: B&Q Designer: Matt Childs Contractor: Tecwyn Evans
The star of the garden is the new, downy mildew resistant Imara Busy Lizzie. Designed to be a feel-good outdoor space, the garden has inspiring, relaxing and entertaining spaces.
Planting/colour scheme: More than 2,000 Imara Bizzie Lizzie plugs are used, grown taller than normal, reflecting how it would grow in its native East African home. There is plenty of textural green foliage plus ferns, hostas, Trachycarpus fortunei and Chamaerops humilis.
Best of Both Worlds
Sponsor: BALI and RHS Designer: Rosemary Coldstream Contractor: The Outdoor Room
The garden is inspired by couples who share a love of gardening – but have very different tastes. On one side, a traditional space with loose planting inspired by country gardens; on the other, more defined contemporary geometry. Both sides have seating areas and water features but make one cohesive whole. The garden highlights and promotes careers in landscaping and horticulture and is built by landscaping students.
Planting/colour scheme: The traditional side has blues and pinks with touches of lemon, white and magenta. There will be plenty of soft grey-greens with darker greens. Perovskia, Salvias, Nepetas and lavender mingle with Pittosporum shrubs and other perennials. The contemporary side has mostly evergreen shrubs with splashes of strong colour such as Helenium and Agapanthus.
Elements Mystique Garden
Designer: Lawrence Roberts
Inspired by the work of Belgian sculptor William Roobrouck, it showcases the artist’s latest piece; a 2.5-metre diameter corten steel sphere representing a fallen meteor. The impact has blackened the fencing, burnt the trees and vegetation and ruptured the paving. Featuring cedar screening, blackened by the Japanese art of Shou-Sugi-Ban (a method of burning timber for effect) alongside sliced Caledonian stone.
Planting/colour scheme: Largely black or dark foliage plants. Three Tibetan cherries surround the sphere, their bark red and peeling. Actea atropurpurea and Ophiopogon nigrescens give the appearance of burnt, scorched planting. Other plants include Prunus tibetica, Sambucus Black Lace and Hakonechloa macra.
Designers: Jody Lidgard, Nick Fryer and Tim Lidgard Contractors: Bespoke Outdoor Spaces, Nicholas Edwards Gardens
Inspired by areas of the Breckland landscape in Norfolk, the garden represents one of the many ‘pingos’ or shallow fluctuating pools in the region. It’s set within the grounds of an old farmhouse, surrounded by scrubby, sparse woodland.
Planting/colour scheme: The garden has a verdant and lush feel with shades of green, aromatic planting and contrasting leaf textures.