The Children's Society Garden
Designed by Mark Gregory
What makes young people happy? The findings of a recent Children’s Society well-being report provided the key ideas of 'friends', 'family' and 'play' which designer Mark Gregory has used to create his 2010 garden. This garden certainly delivers on all these aspects. It's a teenagers’ paradise, a place to relax and chill with family and friends, a chance to bathe in the plunge pool, the opportunity for al fresco eating and all in the calm environment of a beautifully planted garden.
Trees and shrubs enclose the space, with multi-stemmed Acer campestre, Euonymus and Viburnum. In the cool shade, spring woodland plants such as aquilegias and foxgloves give colour and add height while ferns provide texture and cool green shades throughout. Rheum palmatum around the plunge pool provides stunning architectural foliage. Within the water, Equisetums and other aquatic plants give clean lines highlighting the massive stepping stones leading to the chillout area of covered seating and a firepit.
“I’ve created a curtained pavilion, clothed in Thyme, it’s an unusual choice," explains Mark. “I wanted to show a different type of green roof and create a comfortable intimate mood where the family can enjoy long, lazy summer evenings.”
As well as designing and building the garden, Mark has been working with three young children to grow the plants. They have made regular trips to a nursery and have learnt much about gardening in the process.
What will happen to the garden after the show?
Mark Gregory is hopeful that the garden will be sold at the show, with money going to the Children’s Society. If not sold in entirety, it will be split up with the stone going back to the supplier or donated to a school. The plants will be auctioned off but the big trees are going to Kew gardens – where Tony Kirkham, Head of the Arboretum, will hopefully incorporate them into a new environmental area.
This garden has been awarded a Gold medal by the RHS.
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.