My Twitter Feed

March 19, 2018


The Gardens Trust launches national celebration of landscape gardener Humphry Repton -

Monday, March 19, 2018

Ryan Alexander Landscape Design & Build is the Supreme Winner at the APL Awards 2018 -

Monday, March 19, 2018

Call for trees to be used as a technique to help combat flooding -

Monday, March 19, 2018

APL Award winners announced -

Monday, March 19, 2018

PSD Groundscare simplifies high grass cutting -

Friday, March 16, 2018

The results are in – Oxford street transformation plans receive widespread support -

Friday, March 16, 2018

National Garden Scheme helps Perennial support more horticulturalists -

Friday, March 16, 2018

Scandi style explored by Viking and Stephen Hall -

Friday, March 16, 2018

Green light for £1.6bn flagship regeneration of Clapham Park -

Friday, March 16, 2018

Flower show turns problem gardens into prized plots -

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Milton Keynes children explore Campbell Park at The Parks Trust’s Junior Park Rangers Conference -

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Recipients of prestigious RHS Awards announced -

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Practicality Brown acquire Midland Tree Surgeons -

Thursday, March 15, 2018

New HS2 urban quater secures £10m in funding -

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Addagrip introduces STARPATH -

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

British Sugar TOPSOIL launches all-new website -

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Green-tech to sponsor Pro Landscaper’s 30 Under 30: The Next Generation 2018 -

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Over 10 percent of RHS staff have horticulture names – Find out what they are here -

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Martyn Wilson – the man behind the RAF100 Garden -

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Speaker topics announced for SGD Spring Conference -

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Arbor Deck

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 Q&A – Artisan- The Poetry Lover’s Garden

Debut designer Fiona Cadwallader has designed a tranquil retreat, inspired by Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem ‘This Lime Tree Bower my Prison’, in which Coleridge is restricted to his seat of a lime tree bower following an injury, imagining the countryside he could be enjoying, though he sees this differently at the end of the poem as being connected to the wider world. The plant supplier for this garden is Kelways, Van der Berk Trees and Lindum Turf.

Q&A with garden designer, Fiona Cadwallader:

When did you first start working on the original design and how long did it take to perfect?

As this is my first Chelsea garden I began planning the design in January 2016 based on an idea I had had to reference Samuel Coleridge’s Poem The Lime Tree Bower My Prison and worked on the design for the next six months.

including the feasibility and structural designs for three several metal sculptural elements I wanted making to include in the garden. This includes a complex water feature which I had to carefully design to ensure it would not just look good, but also work well.  I then put in my application in in June 2016.

What are the stand out features of this particular garden?

Four magnificently sculptural umbrella-pruned lime trees, which reference Coleridge’s shady lime tree bower in the poem, are going to be major features within the garden creating pockets of dappled shade beneath.  There are also the three bespoke metal sculptural pieces which I have designed myself and which are being constructed for me by Outdoor Designs in Arundel.  There is a an ornamental stainless steel gate, a 2 metre stainless steel water feature, which has a curvaceous and reflective profile, subtly lit by fibre optics. Water will ripple down the length of curved steel, into a large trough below before being recycled.  Centre stage is a striking focal point: a steel chaise longue which will balance, as though floating on a shining metal orb. The seat can gently revolve to follow the sun.

Did the sponsor provide a detailed brief? If so, how did you interpret this within your design?

As a first-time designer at Chelsea and in these uncertain financial times, I couldn’t find a sponsor in time for my application.  Although self-funding is obviously very difficult there are positives.  I haven’t had to compromise my design concept and have been free to indulge my passions of horticulture, poetry and design within the design, without any demands of an original brief.

What is so special about having a show garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show?

RHS Chelsea Flower is undoubtedly the world’s most prestigious flower show and it is an honour to have had my designs accepted for the show. It was a huge boost to my confidence to be successful in my first application.

To be among some of the world’s finest designers and growers is an enormous privilege.  Also it has given me the opportunity to work alongside some of the industry’s finest professionals,  like Landform Consultants, with extensive experience of RHS Shows. It has been a very rewarding experience.

How do you hope the public/visitors will perceive this garden?

I hope the public will see the garden as a serene oasis in which to escape the immediate world and come to unwind and contemplate, and where they would have time to sit and reflect and be inspired by the spiritual messages of a poem.  The formality of the design provides a simplicity which is easy for someone to visually digest and therefore relaxing. However, the formality is contrasted with the soft and billowing herbaceous planting to provide colour and movement. Ultimately, I would like the garden to engender a sense of tranquillity and meditation.


Q&A with the contractor, Landform:

What are you looking forward to most about the build?

We like the design – the use of contemporary and traditional materials, and the fact that it’s in a new area that we’ve never been there before and working with Fiona, a new designer to Landform.

What’s going to be the biggest challenge on the build?

As always with the artisan gardens, it’s a no dig site, so all foundations and tree rootballs have to be above ground and hidden. Not to mention a complex garden with a very tight timescale and very limited access. In my opinion, the small gardens are by far the more difficult to design and also to build.

Are specialist contractors required for any elements?

Lots of specialists, ourselves included. Andy Louden, the revered dry stone waller, will be part of our crew, and the metal fabricators who will be building off site are also very specialist.

If you could take one thing away with you from this garden, what would it be?

Not sure yet – we are never put off by challenges, but I am sure lessons will be learnt and moving forward we learn from every build and implement our learnings.

Do you think the judges have enough knowledge of the complexity of construction when deciding on the medals?

Generally, yes. The panel is made up of different disciplines and I am confident that they will get the general feel of complexity and work/craftsmanship that has gone into the build. That said, great construction and use of materials do not make a gold medal on their own – it’s all about the space planting and mood of the garden.

Comments are closed.