The Gold Medal for Best Small Garden18th July 2009 • Hampton Court Flower Show • Stephanie Donaldson
The other side of the Long Water, the gold medal for Best Small Garden was awarded to ‘Pepa’s Karst Garden’ – the recreation of the entrance and courtyard of a typical Slovenian farmhouse.
So often this sort of thing is a pastiche, but here it had real authenticity. A surrounding drystone wall was studded with Sempervivums growing in the crevices and a wonderful ancient carved well-head was the centrepiece of the courtyard. Limestone was a major feature of the garden, as it is of Karst region of Slovenia, where spectacular populations of wild flowers thrive in the rocky environment.
Nearby a contemporary garden contained a highly covetable and very attractive outdoor kitchen with a woodburning oven.
It had substance as well as style – so much more attractive than the ubiquitous chimenea – and not necessarily expensive to build. Raised beds held salads and herbs as well as colourful flowers. Lots of inspiration to take home.
Similarly, the Life Cycle Garden had some great ideas – the loosely stacked log wall would be perfect for the end of a garden as an inexpensive disguise for a boring fence and it would also make an excellent wildlife habitat. The nearby Coppice Garden showed how a small shady area could be given structure and style with a curving drystone wall and woven hazel fencing.