The Daily Telegraph Garden
Designed by Andy Sturgeon
Don’t be put off by the apparent simplicity of the gravel planting or the monolithic appearance of the steel box like screens, this contemporary garden has many subtleties. It is a gravel garden with the appearance of being Mediterranean yet has at its core very English planting.
The colour scheme of pale parchment, orange, blue, purple and brown works through all the elements of the garden. From the plants, paths and stonework snd the rusted Cor-ten steel to the garden furniture and the painted walls, all parts harmonise. Bright orange Californian poppies, bronze umbels of burpleurum, silvery blues of eryngium and hints of white libertia are used to contrast with the textural foliage, spiky leaves, dried flower and seed heads that bring an exotic atmosphere to the garden.
The visitor enters the garden at the front where pathways are raised above the gravel. A step down into the gravel area provides a dynamic movement, pause here and the positioning of the steel structures and walls then becomes apparent. These are carefully placed and constructed to frame views along the garden to the courtyard or through the pillars to glimpses of planting either side, like a net curtain they are screen-like but also ‘see through’. The effect is to invite the visitor to choose different pathways through the garden as different vistas open up. Leading you on through to the far wall you come to a courtyard, not fully enclosed but pillars of Portland stone give a sense of security and make a comfortable space to sit in the shade of a pine tree.
“The idea of that is that when you enter the garden you’re faced with a number of routes, a number of choices that you can take through the garden," explains Andy. “ Wherever you are, you can look through these screens and see what your alternative path could have been and it’s really a metaphor for life. It’s not meant to be the 'grass is greener', its just meant to be optimistic. There are other ways that you can take through life, other things that will happen.”
In the courtyard an ‘L’ shaped pool is fed with flowing water from three sluices in a traditional stone wall that catches the light and brings a sense of calm. This rustic traditional look contrasts with the contemporary feel of the Cor-ten steel screens. Tree and shrub planting throughout the garden re-enforces the atmosphere of the exotic with scented Westringia fruticosa and Myrtus communis, and the leathery leaved Pittosporum tobira.
What will happen to the garden after the show?
As much of possible of The Daily Telegraph garden is to be recycled after the show, furniture and pots will go off to other people’s gardens and the Cor-ten steel and paving will hopefully be sold off at the show. The majority of plants will go back to the nursery, and are grown on and then re-sold.
Andy Sturgeon scoops the award in this category.
This garden has been awarded a Gold medal by the RHS.