The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies. Gertrude Jekyll

Annie's Little Plot

Annie's Little Plot

Monday, 30 May 2011

Chelsea Flower Show - The small gardens

I love to see the Show gardens and especially the madness of some of the stage sets, but I tend to be only able to get inspiration for my garden at home from small parts of the gardens. The swimming pools and expensive paving materials are out of reach for most people. There is often exquisite planting schemes that can be copied and small features that can be used such as the idea of a green roof, or creating habitats for wildlife both of which were found in a number of the show gardens. But overall it tends to be the small gardens that give the most ideas to me. I'm a sucker for the more cottage-type gardens rather than the more modern designs but I liked some of both of these categories this year.
Firstly the Artisan gardens which used to be called the courtyard gardens. These are situated in Ranelagh gardens which has a woodland feel being along a pathway under the trees.
It was a bit wet when we were viewing these but that meant it was a bit quieter and we could get to see the gardens better so some advantages of the rain.
The first garden on the path was the Fever-Tree's Tree House Garden.
The cutest little tree house, taking up most of the garden.

The Art of Yorkshire, celebrates the famous artists from Yorkshire, so it features an original sculpture from Barbara Hepworth which I love. There is a picture frame in the centre of the plot which brilliantly frames a beautiful planting scheme.

The shapes of the wall reflect the hills of yorkshire. A very lovely garden.
Next was the garden called A postcard from Wales. This garden evokes a old fashioned garden in Wales close to Dylan Thomas's home town of Laugharne.
This won a gold medal but the garden which won best in show was a garden whose main attraction was a loo!
The Garden was called Hae-woo-so (Emptying One's mind), it is the Korean word for the traditional Korean toilet located in the back-yard.
A very tranquil garden with mostly wild planting.
The next was the Literary Garden, intended as a poets retreat, with verses and poems inscribed onto or used in many of the garden features. The planting is very cottage-like with foxgloves, Nepeta, Delphiniums and Astillbe's.

With a beautiful Dogwood in the garden, also seen in a few other gardens this year. A lovely tree.
The next garden was commissioned for the 100th anniversary of Basildon Bond. Designed to inspire people to rediscover the art of the hand-written letter which is a lovely idea.
It is the walls that are the most striking, which are decorated with waterproof paper and they curl up and have a lot of movement in the wind. I really like this idea and to match this is the Paperbark Maple (Acer griseum) which has peeling red-brown bark.

Finally A Child's Garden in Wales, set in 1947, with grow your own in the garden. Very nostalgic but a tad cheesy!
The Urban Gardens are mainly on Royal Hospital Way.
One is designed for the Doncaster Deaf Trust, to stimulate the senses, in this case hearing. I like the planting in this garden.

In fact there were a number of sensory gardens, the other was the RNIB garden using mostly textural plants.
One of my favourites of the Urban gardens was The Magistrates' Garden.
I particularly like the Plane trees grown as umbrellas giving shade and structure. I also like the back wall and the water feature. Overall I think this is my favourite small garden.

The Power of Nature garden was featured quite a lot and I did like the slate wall and the contrasting plants grown in the big container.
The Chilstone Garden is a bit mad, the first garden apparantly to use an outdoor carpet in the garden. Not my cup of tea but I quite like the silver, grey and purple planting scheme.
The Winds of Change garden won the best Urban Garden. I definitely like certain parts of it but I think its more of a masculine garden though people may disagree.
I do really like the fence panels and the trees complement that completely. The bark looks like its been polished along with the fence.

I also liked the path and the planting.

The final garden is The Lands' End Across the Pond garden which is inspired by the American architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

I love the water in this garden and the polished concrete paving slabs. The planting is also very delicate too. I guess any garden that has foxgloves in works for me!

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