Having won a Silver-Gilt Medal for her Show Garden at RHS Malvern Spring Festival 2018, Herefordshire based garden designer Olivia Kirk has now completed the relocation of the hundreds of plants, trees and shrubs from the garden, into their permanent new home in a public space Court Yard Garden, at the redeveloped Royal Porcelain Works in the historic heart of Worcester.
The Royal Porcelain Works officially opens on 30 June to provide a vibrant new centre for the performing arts and modern craftsmanship. The central Court Yard Garden, which Olivia also designed, links a new artisan cafe/deli ‘The Nest, Worcester’, with the existing Museum of Royal Worcester and the adjacent Royal Porcelain Works, with the beautifully renovated Henry Sandon Hall, which is an arts centre, run by Worcester Live.
Olivia is an RHS Chelsea Flower Show gold-medallist and a talented and experienced landscape and garden designer. She has a project portfolio of private and public schemes around the UK. Following Malvern Spring Festival, Olivia and her team dismantled the Show Garden (pictured right) and carefully loaded all the plants and trees onto a fleet of lorries to transport them over to the redevelopment project in the centre of Worcester. Olivia the carefully managed and refined the replanting into the raised-bed Court Yard Design.
To ensure the year-round beauty of the new Court Yard Garden, Olivia has added to the original show garden planting scheme. She has introduced evergreen structure with Euphorbia x pasteurii, Yew columns, Ilex ‘Nelly Stevens’ pyramids and balls of Osmanthus delavayi, which she has used throughout the garden to give a strong cohesion, which she believes is important in a public pace.
The large central raised planter in the Court Yard was designed by Olivia to accommodate an existing mature crab apple tree, which creates a feeling of privacy within the courtyard and screens out the views of flats and car parking beyond the Court Yard boundary.
Olivia ensured the raised beds have been designed to a comfortable sitting height, so that they can double up as additional seating to the outdoor tables and chairs at The Nest café, which spill out into the Court Yard space, providing a relaxed, holiday atmosphere to the space.
Seasonal colour is dotted throughout the evergreen structure, including a dramatic standard Wisteria Japonica ‘alba’, (below) edging of Nepeta racemosa ‘Walker’s Low’ and contrasting Geum ‘Mai Tai’, all of which were used in The Collectors Garden at RHS Malvern Spring Festival. Olivia has also added mid and late summer interest into the scheme with the addition of Dahlias ‘Bishop of Llandaff’ and ‘Fifteen Love’, Perovskia ‘Blue Spire’ and Panicum virgatum ‘Shenandoah’, giving an injection of rich jewel colours to the scheme.
Olivia has also added a selection of interesting herbs and edible flowers into the edges of the beds, which the Chefs at The Nest/Café and Deli are able to pick and for use in their freshly cooked, artisan food.
Olivia said: “Any Show Gardens I have created have always been designed sustainably to be reused in a permanent location after the Show. The Collectors Garden at Malvern was designed to raise awareness of The Royal Porcelain Works redevelopment project, for which I have been the Landscape Designer. So, it has been satisfying to see the Malvern Spring Festival Show Garden plants relocate so effectively into the new permanent public space, where they form a beautiful, cohesive and practical green space within the overall development.”