Sunday, 10 June 2012

Chelsea 2012: The Brewin Dolphin Garden, by Cleve West

This Gold Medal winner was also voted Best Show Garden by the RHS judges, and was certainly a very accomplished, beautiful and sophisticated garden, full of nice touches.

It was designed by Cleve West, who also won Best Show Garden in 2011 for the Daily Telegraph garden, a semi-arid garden based on Roman ruins in Libya, with stone columns strewn around the place that we weren’t so keen on. I have West’s book on allotments, "Our Plot", , it is very personal, and very readable.

This £250,000 garden, which celebrated the 250th anniversary of Brewin Dolphin (a financial institution), was a great deal more liveable than his 2011 winner, mixing tradition with more modern touches.

Topiary yews provided the garden's green structure

Like many of the show gardens this year, it was highly structured, with lots of hard landscaping, topiary yews (Taxus Baccata), clipped beech hedges (Fagus Sylvatica) and pollarded lime trees (Tilia Platyphyllos), underplanted with a mass of herbaceous plants, such as ladybird poppies, cornflowers, aquilegia and euphorbia.

Calming rills created from recycled granite sets emerged from 
the base of the each of the pillars at the gate

The bright red of the Ladybird poppy stood out among more muted colours

Best Show Garden 2012

The main structure was created using reclaimed granite setts, antique, copper-coloured metal gates hanging on stone pillars, and a 300-year-old stone well head used as a wall hanging.
An old stone well head used as a wall scuplture

Iris sibirica Tropic Night

Among his plants were varieties of Knapweed, such as Centaurea Pulchra Major, and the similarly thistle-like Cirsium rivulare.

There were drifts of white planting, with Epilobium angustifolium Album (Rosebay willowherb), equally delicate Meum athamanticum, Thalictrum aquilegifolium Album (Meadow rue), the lace-flowered, Orlaya grandiflora, and the daisy-like Erigeron karvinskianus (Mexican fleabane).

Euphorbia and Geranium

There were lots of green-flowered Mathiasella bupleuroides Green Dream and equally green Euphorbia (Euphorbia x martinii and Euphorbia wallichii) - pictured above along with the pink flowered Geranium pyrenaicum Bill Wallis.

He also used plenty of Alliums (above) in purple and white, such as Allium atropurpureum, Allium nigrum, Allium stipitatum Mount Everest and Allium schubertii.

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