Saturday, 18 June 2011

Chelsea 2011: Laurent-Perrier Garden

The Laurent-Perrier Garden, Nature and Human Intervention, by the Italian designer, Luciano Giubbilei , won Gold. It was built and planted by Crocus.

Here there was a modern take on a Japanese pavilion by Kengo Kuma, which used 16 revolving wind-driven panels made out of lots of thin pieces of bamboo, that provided interesting shadow and texture and looked a lot better at the show than it did on television.

It was a mix of Japanese and British influences throughout, which was particularly noticeable in the quiet area at the back of the garden.

Beside it there were three large stones, by the sculptor Peter Randall-Page, which also provided interesting texture and shadow in their Celtic-like carvings.

They looked beautiful in the early evening light, which cast shadows on the ridges.

One of the themes of Chelsea this year was pleaching. There were pleached trees in a lot of the gardens, but in this garden, the pleaching was a lot more natural than elsewhere, with large, bare-stemmed Parrotia perscica, or Persian ironwood. The 35- to 40-year-old trees had been manipulated over the years to lift the crowns and leave the twisting stems exposed. They normally prefer to grow lower (as bushes), so this isn't a look you could get without a lot of work. They would be lovely trees if you have the space for them, especially in the Autumn, with bright fall colours.

Dissecting the garden was a long, rocky canal.

We weren't particularly attracted to the planting, with its shades of pink, maroon and brown.

Digitalis x mertonensis - Strawberry foxglove

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