Much as we would love to think that the sun always shines on our gardens in the summer, the reality is that rain is often an uninvited guest when we are doing outdoor entertaining. A covered area is just what’s needed in these circumstances but it’s not always practical to have something permanent. It takes up space, anything halfway decent costs serious money, and if you live in a windy location there’s always the concern that it will take off and disappear over the neighbour’s fence. This is when a pop up gazebo comes into its own – if rain is forecast you can unpack it, unfold it (generally a simple process) and relax in the knowledge that should the heavens open (or the sun blaze down) there is shelter available. www.gardengazebos.co.uk sells three sizes: 3m x 3m, 4.5m x 3m and 6m x 3m priced from £219.99 to £399.99 and there is a current offer of free side curtains.
Illustrating the Jordan’s philosophy of growing their cereals in an environment that embraces wildlife, their garden had circular paths mown through naturalistic planting of perennials and grasses. It looked as tasty as their muesli and the gently curving straw benches were the perfect vantage point from which to admire this lovely garden.
Chew Valley Trees garden transported me back to my recent visit to Sweden (about which I will blog in due course). Although it was inspired by the Canadian landscape it could just as easily have been Sweden with its naturalistic planting of trees, its limestone pavement and its log cabin aesthetic. I thought the log wall with its large window and built-in insect hotel would be an interesting way of dividing up a garden.
Vestra Wealth’s garden was full of great detailing – combined with some of the best planting in the show. I loved the wooden rill with water dropping into the pool below – the colour of the wood was echoed by the nearby copper box which was probably the grandest logstore I’ve ever seen. The planting was ethereal with grasses weaving through the perennials to create a soft impressionistic effect.
Alexandra Froggatt may be self-taught and is still very young, but that didn’t stop her winning the ‘Your Garden, Your Budget’ category where costs are limited to £15,000. She as created a garden that shows a real grasp of design and individual flair. I loved the pale palette and the differing textures from rough hewn timber to milky opaque glass and polished concrete. The planting mixed softly hued perennials and grasses, but I was also struck that the design would allow for very different plantings too.