Saturday, 28 May 2011

My favourite Chelsea Garden 2011

The above photo shows my favourite Chelsea garden from this year's show, "The Skyshade Garden", which won a silver flora medal for the designer, Marney Hall.  Actually, it was the gorgeous Hares sculpture that I loved, with the naturalistic planting around it.  I only caught a glimpse of the sculpture twice through all the coverage, but looked on the BBC website and there was the photo.
This is how the garden is described:
"This is an eco-friendly office and garden for a lover of plants and wildlife. The office, made out of sustainable materials and powered by photovoltaic panels on the roof sits in the corner enjoying the view out into the garden and its variety of habitats.
A stream runs through the garden and is planted with water-loving plants which are also good for insect nectar sources. The movement of the water through the stream also creates sound in the garden to make the space and office feel tranquil and cut out external noise such as roads.
A meadow, created from year-old turf with extras sown in (like ox-eye daisy, salad burnet, meadow saxifrage, horse-shoe vetch and bird's foot trefoil) sits in the centre of the garden with a wildlife border to one side and a woodland to the other. The wildlife border contains plants, which from Marney's own observations, are great for wildlife. The woodland is planted with Swedish Whitebeam, Rowan and Silver Birches and underplanted with shrubs and native forest floor plants. 
A herb area is dressed with gravel designed to soak up heat and attract butterflies who prefer to lay eggs on plants in warmer areas (so the larvae develop quickly and have better chances at survival). The herbs spill from the garden onto the path waiting to be crushed under foot, filling the air with scent attractive to wildlife and humans alike."

I did like areas of planting from lots of the gardens, but no one garden really grabbed my interest.

The RBC New Wild Garden by Nigel Dunnett (awarded a silver-gilt flora medal) also had some lovely planting and a very clever use for a storage container.  I particularly liked the trees and the insect habitats created in the stone walls - artistic and useful.    One day, I shall actually visit the show, just once, to say I have been.  In the meantime, I shall continue to watch the coverage and dream about my bigger garden and how beautiful it will be...(probably with a Hares sculpture in it too.)

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