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27 November 2014
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Silver Gilt Flora Medal

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.

Equisetum hyemale
Equisetum hyemale
Dutch or scouring rush

A fast-growing horsetail that has unbranched stems with rough black ribs which slightly constrict the stem. As a marginal plant in a garden setting needs confining to prevent unwanted spreading. Plant in an aquatic basket lined with Hessian to restrict growth. As the stems remain green throughout the winter provides useful winter interest, and its slightly pre-historic look makes it a curiosity for the pond.

Cyperus papyrus
Cyperus papyrus
Papyrus

Papyrus is a highly ornamental rush that can be grown outside during the summer months. It forms an upright clamp on long stalks each one topped with an umbrella of fine green foliage. It's an attractive, architectural plant that combines well with other low-growing water plants such as irises and water lilies. Plants require a very wet site, where their roots are standing in water to produce the best effects. They are not frost-hardy and must be overwintered in a warm greenhouse or conservatory.

Gunnera manicata
Gunnera manicata
Gunnera

Gunnera is one of the biggest and most spectacular, architectural, herbaceous plants, commonly thought of as 'giant rhubarb'. The plants need a lot of space because it is difficult to restrict their size. They look best as specimen plants in a damp bog garden, or beside a large pond where the reflections reveal the prickly undersides of the leaves. The fat growth buds clustered in the crown are prone to frost damage, so pile the dead leaves and stems into a mound over the plants in autumn for winter protection - they make quite a feature of their own. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it its prestigious Award of Garden Merit.

Nymphaea 'Colorado'
Nymphaea 'Colorado'
Water lily

This water lily has striking salmon-pink blooms right through the summer months. The star-shaped flowers are supported on large, mottled green leaves that can spread up to two metres across. All varieties need still water and a sunny position, with room to spread.


Vote now for your favourite garden in the BBC RHS People's Award.

Design inspiration

Vanessa Adorni"This is a simple, contemporary water garden designed to emulate all that Grand Marnier represents - quality, authenticity and style. The garden reflects these qualities with clean lines, quality materials and plants.

"Showcasing a wide variety of aquatic plants, the garden offers a beautiful area in which to socialise and entertain friends or to sit, relax and contemplate whilst enjoying the tactile sensual experience of a water garden. The surrounding water enlivens your senses introducing sound, movement, light, reflection and coolness.

"Vines line the central axis of the garden with a contemporary copper water sculpture set within an infinity edged pool at the centre. The stainless steel water wall beyond, further enlivens the garden through movement and reflection of water. Lush green planting flanks the garden, providing a gentle sense of enclosure and adding to the overall structure and geometry."

Designer, Vanessa Adorni

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