Thursday, 27 March 2014

Show Garden Variety in 2014

Stages of Show Garden construction for the May 2013 Spring Show

With some awesome themes and evocative Show Gardens scheduled for this year’s RHS Malvern Spring Festival, and in a new location on the Showground for 2014, I think back to last year’s build-up and the sheer ingenuity that will turn patches of sometimes muddy ground into desirable garden spaces. Whether it is bringing a message home, or creating a garden for the sheer joy of doing so, this year’s themes will captivate as much as in any former year.

Show Garden OS567, 'Shears & Chardonnay': 
Designer Jody & Tim Lidgard
Nine in all, and varying in size and shape, the names alone will inspire, and maybe have one guessing as to hidden meanings. Take ‘Shears and Chardonnay’ – a Woodland garden representing a corner or the end of the country garden where boundaries can often blur and merge with the surrounding lanes and fields in rural Suffolk.

Show Garden OS562, 'Blush': 
Designer Outer Spaces Design Ltd
Or ‘Blush’ – an urban retreat, with somewhere to sit and relax whilst escaping the stress of everyday life. A stepping stone path leads you into the centre of the space, which is a seating area enclosed by rendered walls. A sculptural piece consisting of stainless steel flowers on long stems forming a ‘ball’ is echoed throughout the space with living box balls. 

Show Garden OS565, 'A Fruity Story': 
Designer Richard Wanless Twigs Gardens
Secret spaces appeal to many gardeners faced with the everyday stresses of a busy life, so ‘A Fruity Story’ is sure to appeal. A modern yet informal kitchen garden, it provides somewhere to relax, to enjoy the fruits of one’s labours. Inspired by the new format of the RHS Malvern Spring Festival, the designer has incorporated three festival themes in the garden – Food and Drink, Grow and Taste and Heritage.

Show Garden OS566, 'Living with Parkinson's Garden': 
Designer Ruth Gwynn
The ‘Living with Parkinson’s Garden’ try to illustrate what it must be like to live with Parkinson’s disease Parkinson’s is caused by the loss of nerve cells in the brain. It leads to the main symptoms of tremors, slowness of motion and stiffness. Many sufferers experience feelings of frustration that they can no longer do simple everyday tasks easily. So the journey around this garden is intended to be deliberately difficult and frustrating. 

Show Garden OS568, 'Ooooh … It makes me wonder': 
Designer Teresa Rham Groundesigns
'Ooooh …. It makes me wonder’ should resonate with us all, for it reflects upon the one situation which we will all experience sooner or later – death. The garden depicts an imaginary, unearthly place – a location between the physical and metaphysical worlds, whilst at the same time providing a sense of security by replicating the ‘familiar’.

Show Garden OS564, 'The Quiet Garden':
Designers Angie Turner, Kristina Fitzsimmons & Patrick Swan
Raising awareness of the International Quiet Garden Trust whilst illustrating the ability of gardens to encourage rest, spiritual refreshment and meditation is ‘The Quiet Garden’. It is intended to provide spiritual refreshment by stilling the mind with turns in the meditation path requiring concentration – a diversion from daily worries. The Trust is a small charity which spreads its network across the world – gardens could be found in private homes, churches, schools, retreat centres and hospitals.

Show Garden OS563, Bringing Nature Home': 
Designer Graduate Gardens Ltd
'Bringing Nature Home' has been inspired by natural planting and shows how British native wildflowers can be incorporated into a more modern style of garden. The layout has a modern feel, leading out into the natural rural landscape beyond; with the naturalistic planting setting it at ease within the landscape. Wildlife friendly to encourage bees and butterflies, it incorporates a simple reflective pool, with drips of water coming down from the steel joist creating simple ringlets on the water surface.

Show Garden OS561, 'ROSY & Victory': 
Designer Samantha Willis Garden Design
2014 marks 100 years since the start of the First World War and ‘ROSY & Victory’ is an Edwardian-style design celebrating the traditional English garden, as inspired by the war poet Siegfred Sassoon. 

’’Return to greet me, colours that were my joy, 
Not in the woeful crimson of men slain, 
But shining as a garden; come with the streaming 
Banners of dawn and sundown after rain.” 

It’s a garden within a garden (typical of many a garden of the time, when small garden entities were fashioned within much larger acreage. 

Show Garden OS569, 'En su Casa en La Playa': Designer Villaggio Verde
Transport yourself abroad to the Balearics and the largest Show Garden ever to have been constructed at Malvern. ‘En su Casa en La Playa (At home on the beach)’ is a theatrical representation designed to evoke happy memories of summer and holidays in the sun. At the back of the beach house is a driveway lined with aromatics, and olive trees set into lawn areas.  At the front of the house are specimen rosemary densely planted along with agave, palms, yucca gloriosa and grasses. The beach house itself is surrounded by potted citrus and aromatics and enhanced with climbers. There’s even a paella hut.

Nine green gardens to entice you to Malvern
on any day from 8th-12th May, 2014
So lose yourself amongst these imaginative Show Gardens, remembering their new location near the West Gate, facing the Malvern Hills. And don't forget to book your tickets online to save you time. (You can even now print your tickets once you have booked.)

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