Come and see the Young Gardeners show gardens at the Ideal Home Show in Olympia, London from 18 March – 3 April.
Show Garden Design
Tell us about your garden
The garden is designed to flow, with varying levels and features being laid out in a spiral pattern, most notably the patio and the arrangement of the raised beds. This encourages people to walk into and around the garden.
The different heights are also an example of intelligent use of vertical space in a small urban garden.
The design is composed of geometric shapes: the rebar dome is a circle, the paving slabs are rectangular, the paving is in an octagon, the patio is a spiral and the planting features spherical clipped evergreen plants.
The dome acts as a central focal point of the garden, designed to draw people into the garden as well enclose them within the oasis.
Rebar fences, arranged in three rows of three bars, run around the edge of the garden. This fits in with our consistent theme of science, geometry and threes. We have chosen rebar because it is industrial and it bridges the gap between the garden and the urban environment of the city.
Tell us about the planting
We have chosen birch trees to give tall, thin height to the planting.
We have also planted evergreen plants clipped into spherical shapes to continue the theme of geometry. This includes Cryptomeria, Laurus nobilis and Hebe rakaeinsis to create a blobbery that doesn’t involve using Buxus. We chose not to use Buxus (boxwood) as the species is suffering from blight and it is also often overused in garden design.
We chose a range of evergreen shrubs that have a variety of foliage and texture. The Laurus is very clipped and neat but the large Cryptomeria is softer and less tightly clipped. The plants surrounding this will be a lovely mix of purples and whites.
Any other interesting features?
The rebar dome will provide dramatic vertical height and space that we can use for climbing plants.
We love how you can sit inside the rebar dome and feel different things. On one side it feels enclosed and separate from the planting, making the garden feel larger. Yet on the other side you are more exposed to the planting, which feels more relaxing.
The coping slabs that top the dry stone walling are made from the same paving slabs used on the patio. This ties the two separate parts of the garden together.
How is the garden educational?
The garden is designed to be educational and scientific. ‘Gamma’ is the name of the slot we were allocated at the Ideal Home Show Young Gardener of the Year launch in November. And gamma is third in the Greek alphabet.
So we have chosen to group parts of the garden in threes, such as the three raised beds, three poles of rebar fencing and three visible sides to the octagon in the centre.
A consistent theme throughout our garden is geometry, including geometric shapes and maths. We decided to use this theme because maths is a big topic in governmental discussion at the moment, and we wanted to promote it in our show garden.
Award: Silver Gilt and People’s Choice
Chichester College was awarded a Silver Gilt Medal for their show garden design. They also won the People’s Choice Award, as voted by the public.