Until 10th July 2016
1 The Japanese Summer Garden, designed by Saori Imoto, was a great lesson in the power of restraint; beautiful blue hydrangeas, bamboo, acers and ferns were arranged in a spare but impactful asymmetric design with a heavenly result.
2. Who wouldn’t want a field of delicious lavender to smell each day of summer? But somehow The Lavender Garden by a trio of female garden designers – Sarah Warren Donna King and Paula Napper – made the monoculture feel very adaptable to a small space. From the shabby wooden fold up chairs and gravel paths to the cleft chesnut post and rail fence and simply constructed hut, it made us want to plant a mini garden packed with this aromatic English garden favourite.
3. The winner of the best city garden was first timer Steve Dimmock whose pretty Drought Garden was inspired by the anniversary of the baking hot heatwave summer of 1976 and Beth Chatto’s amazing gravel garden in Essex. We loved his planting with lots of grasses (stipa gigantea and pennisetum) mingling with hebes, white verbascums and spiky blue eryngiums.
4 And if you are planning a gravel garden then these stunning echeveria secunda var glauca that are on display in the floral marquee would be a great addition.
5 We loved everything about Amanda Waring and Laura Arison’s romantic, peaceful garden, A Summer Retreat, not least the calming Arts & Crafts planting which included blue delphiniums, agastache, verbena, alchemilla mollis and delicious, velvety dusty pink foxgloves.
6 Martin Rayer also chose a low maintenance gravel garden for his for city garden and it was a great illustration of what you can pack into a small urban space. Verbascums, achillea, salvia, perovskia and echinacea added punchy colour while grasses added a soothing airiness and worked wonderfully with a multi-stem birch tree.
7 The planting scheme in the Inner City Grace by Gary Price was incredibly simple but effective and with its ferns, hostas, white astrantias and quaking grass and it could be deployed in any shady city space.
8 We are not generally fans of anything too coordinated but there was something enticing about the berry colour scheme of Catherine MacDonald’s The Squire’s Garden, where deep red penstemons, sanguisorba and cirsiums were blended beautifully with a painted pergola, upholstery and even the pipes of the garden water feature.