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28 October 2014
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Silver Flora Medal

Betula albosinensis
Betula albosinensis
White Chinese birch

Its open crown gives this tree a handsome outline, but its most fetching feature is without doubt its bark which shines with a burnished copper gleam in different shades of rose, pink and purple. It peels gracefully, offering a contrasting honey or reddish-maroon backing with a grey bloom. The leaves are oval to lance-shaped and pale green. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it its prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM).

Arum lily
Zantedeschia aethiopica 'Crowborough'
Arum lily

Arum lilies make striking architectural plants with large, glossy foliage which, in late spring and early summer, is joined by large, white, hood-shaped flowers. These are popular for cutting. The plants look best grown beside water, in shallow pond margins or a bog garden, where they associate well with other water plants. They can also be grown in damp borders with other moisture lovers. In cold regions or when early flowers are wanted for cutting, grow in large pots of rich compost in an unheated or frost-free greenhouse. The Royal Horticultural Society have given it their prestigious Award of Garden Merit.

Vitis vinifera
Vitis vinifera
Grape vine

This grape vine is a vigorous, high-powered tendril climber, which can easily cover a house wall if left unchecked, covering it in large, lobed, bright green summer leaves up to 15cm long. The tiny green summer flowers are followed by late summer bunches of small grapes. For a Vitis with strong autumn leaf colour, go for the deep, dark purple 'Purpurea', and for tasty edible grapes grown against a sheltered, sunny garden wall, try the likes of 'Brandt' and 'Gloire de Boskoop'. Vitis can easily be cut back the moment it gets close to the guttering, ideally when dormant.

Carex buchananii 'Red Rooster'
Carex buchananii 'Red Rooster'
New Zealand leatherleaf sedge

A superb evergreen plant, great for a mixed perennial border, for show-stopping block planting, or even as a feature plant in a container. It's extremely versatile, tolerating almost any soil, (even boggy) and aspect. Its narrow, triangular blades are bronze-red and flex gracefully in the breeze. It is disease- and pest-resistant and being evergreen it is very low-maintenance.

Iris 'Titan's Glory'
Iris 'Titan's Glory'
Bearded iris

This tall bearded iris boasts the most stunning shade of purple flowers. Planted en masse, the effect is jaw-dropping. Irises are elegant plants, and their grey-green, sword-shaped leaves can also provide a contrast to softer, rounder-shaped plants. They do tend to suffer as their clumps grow, so after three years or so, dig up the rhizomes about four to six weeks after flowering and replant strong, healthy sections taken from around the edge of the clump. They are best planted close to the soil's surface. This plant has been given the RHS Award of Garden Merit (AGM).

Play videoWatch a video tour and interview with the garden designer.

Download takeaway planDownload a takeaway plan by Roger Smith.

Design inspiration

Roger Smith, Scenic Blue"The emergence of the 'conscience consumer' is the inspiration behind the Marshalls' Sustainability Garden. The garden has been created to appeal to the growing number of consumers who place increasing importance on issues relating to climate change, ethical and social values, and the economic impact of globalisation. A fundamental objective for the design team was to demonstrate that style need not be sacrificed in the pursuit of a sustainable garden.

"On first impression, this dramatic outdoor room exudes sophisticated charm but look closer and you will appreciate the garden incorporates a number of key ideas for a sustainable lifestyle, including the recycling of grey water, the use of Marshalls' ethically sourced Indian Sandstone, the production of solar power, the planting of fruit, vegetables and flowers and the use of recycled materials."

Designer, Roger Smith of Scenic Blue

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