Grand Show Gardens

Did you have a chance to see the show gardens of the Garden Awards finalists at Grand Designs London 2013?  Four garden designers were chosen as finalists by Kevin McCloud for their innovative use of a  40 s.m. (430 s.f.) plot.  So basically a small garden which is what most of us in urban areas have (if you are lucky!).

Garden Finalist 1 (and Winner) by Christine Wilkie

Christine designed a garden entitled “glow” which is geared for those who are busy urbanites who want a stylish low-maintenance garden.
credit:  Christine Wilkie

credit: Christine Wilkie

The seating area is a floating patio of timber, tiles and artificial lawn.  The feature wall contains an eco-fire, the glow of which is echoed in the under LED strip lighting of the floating patio.  What a great idea for evening parties!  The pathways, made from recycled aggregate, are lined with raised beds to provide privacy.  And, can you believe the colourful wall art boxes are actually bee hives?!
photo:  Christine Wilkie

photo: Christine Wilkie

Get the look:  Traxmax aggregate from CED Natural Stone; bee hotels from The Red Beehive Company; LED lights from BLT Direct; furniture from Indian Ocean; artificial lawn from Easigrass; stone planters from Livinggreen Design; pebble tiling from Porcelanosa and cedar cladding from Global Timber Products.

photo:  Christine Wilkie

photo: Christine Wilkie

Garden Finalist 2 by Andy Stedman

Andy Stedman’s garden is an homage to up cycling showing how industrial chic can be done on a small scale.

credit:  Andy Stedman

credit: Andy Stedman

The green pergola is actually painted scaffolding.  Framed vertical planters provide a living green wall.  The feature wall is a grid made from recycled re-bar, steel and recycled floor joists and filled with potted Buxus.  Sedum strips in the decking add interest and planting to the floor space.

Get the look:  Framed vertical planters from Grufe Products; furniture from Gas & Air Studios; water feature from Water Garden Ltd and decking timber and re-bar from Covers.

Garden Finalist 3 by Scott Lawrence
The garden designed by Scott Lawrence is also environmentally conscious.  The decking is recycled plastic composite and the water features themselves use recycled rainwater.  The use of green walls and mass planting helps with the feeling of a secluded hideaway.
aqua hideaway

Get the look:  Green wall from Treebox; water wall from David Harber, composite decking from Saige Longlife Decking and furniture from Barbed.
Garden Finalist 4 by Miles Raybould

Miles Raybould’s design creates a floating garden oasis which appears both lush and minimalist.
floating garden
The deck floats over planting watered by the rainwater recycling system. Rainwater is also used for the living walls.  The slatted walls and shelves provide a linear contemporary look.
living wall

Get the look:  Planters from Cedar Nursery; LED Cubes from Jusi Colour; raised decks from Swift Scaffolding and slatted screen from Silva Timber.


What do you think of these gardens?  They provide lots great ideas for making gardens eco-friendly.  I love the up cycling of materials, the recycling of water and living walls. These designs really show that a contemporary garden can be so much more than hard surfaces and minimal planting.

These gardens really make me look forward to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show next week.  I’ve never managed to get tickets before and I am SO looking forward to it.

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