Kingston Maurward College is a college for land-based studies near Dorchester. They’re exhibiting in the Sanctuary Garden category.
Inspired by the sub- tropical gardens of the Mediterranean, Kingston Maurward The Space Within Garden, designed by Michelle Brown, is a fusion garden where the French Riviera meets the Jurassic coast.
Paths and glades are found within the lush planting of this tranquil garden. The contemporary arch provides an entrance into a secret jungle of plentiful foliage planting, punctuated by specimen architectural plants and trees. The elevated pathways lead through the space, and the visitor is immersed in the garden planting surrounded by beautiful plants, including beneath the walkways.
The contemporary theme continues with the super structure of the social platform den and daybed found at the end of the paths, and provide areas of rest and relaxation.
The garden follows a lush green colour scheme with accents of gold, silver, white, and the occasional splash of blue. Architectural impact and unusual colouring will be provided by a selection of planting including Xanthorrhoea glauca and Nolina longifolia.
The conceptual garden tells a story of environmental and societal regeneration, a journey from a state of burnout to wellbeing. The space and shape of the garden-as-sculpture are defined by a series of Corten steel arches in various states of char, created by Chettle-based blacksmith Ian Thackray, dividing three segments of planting that tell the regeneration story from charcoaled, diminished forest floor to a verdant, diverse explosion of plant life. The rhythm of the arches, a key feature, defines the passing of time for the viewer.
The garden is inspired by the new generation of changemakers and activists, and the stress and anxiety of social challenges they face whilst continuing to fight global issues from climate change to race. The garden has a positive message – if we take the time to nurture ourselves and our environment, life can thrive.
Planting has been selected to represent the stages of environmental and societal regeneration as told through the garden. Eucalyptus represent the fire-adapted forests being lost to repeated catastrophic forest fires whilst fire poppies typify the ephemerals whose growth is stimulated by heat and represent the first stage of regeneration. Iris are a symbol of wisdom, hope, faith, and valour, all qualities an activist needs
The RNLI is a national charity with its head office in Poole. There’s also a RNLI college and a lifeboat station there too.
The RNLI Garden is in the Show Garden category. It’s been designed by Chris Beardshaw as a celebration of both the history and modernity of the multi-faceted RNLI which was founded in 1824 and has been saving lives at sea, for almost 200 years.
The design avoids the literal, and instead marries style hints from the charity’s Georgian origins with contemporary design cues, to reflect the forward-looking organisation of the RNLI today.
The paving uses Purbeck stone which is at least 100 million years in the making and each piece represents a life lost at sea. Purbeck stone has long been celebrated for its strength and durability, reflecting the permanence and longevity of the RNLI.
A traditionally inspired oak pavilion façade at the rear (created in Southbourne by specialist fabricator James Gray) features classic carved lettering and turned columns. It’s spliced by a contemporary, oak arcade. Deep and luscious borders flow through the garden with a subtle palette of herbaceous perennials in shades of greens and white, with highlights of jewelled colour. The result is a garden which inspires inquisitiveness, looks back to look forward, providing a calm and confident space in which to reflect on the many elements of the RNLI’s work.
The garden features statement, mature and characterful trees including elms. The planting is a celebration of texture, form and foliage from herbaceous perennials with flowers predominantly in pastel whites, blues/pinks.
Key plants include Ulmus parvifolia, a Dutch Elm resistant form of elm, and Pinus sylvestris, both chosen for their link to traditional boat building when the RNLI was first formed; clipped hawthorn hedge for the boundary; Pinus mugo to creating a dramatic rockscape; and a large multi stemmed Carpinus betulus featuring a large rock grown within its stems from a natural art piece.
Planting will be taken to the Poole RNLI College after the show for a plant sale on Friday 3 June and The pavilion will be re-homed at Sculpture by the Lakes where it will help raise funds for the RNLI.
The six trees in the garden will be relocated to Dorset as part of an exciting project – details to be announced following the Show.
Ian Godfrey from Galiani Glass Art is showcasing three pieces of art on The International Year of Glass Garden (stand AR542). 2022 has been recognised as the International Year of Glass by the United Nations and the Chelsea garden features sculptures and garden planters that have been made in both ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ glass processes, demonstrating the beauty and versatility of the material in a garden setting.
Nestled in a peaceful corner of the show, is Jardin Blanc with menus designed by Raymond Blanc OBE. Dorset sculptor Simon Gudgeon’s outsize bronze fruit sculpture can be seen at the entrance.
There are also some great trade stands showcasing Dorset businesses:
Vanessa Conyers Ceramics, Blandford Forum
Site No: EA463
Sparkling mosaic sculpture and exquisite ceramics
Burgon & Ball Ltd, Ferndown
Site No: CW310
Garden Tools and Accessories
Compton Smith Interiors Ltd, Shaftesbury
Site No: EA440
Fine Art and Interiors
Site No: PW609
Pergola swing seats and Adirondack Chairs and Benches
Site No: EA499
Gardening tools from Japan
Plankbridge Ltd, Dorchester
Site No: AR586
Shepherd’s hut with en-suite.
The hut on display is a new standard model as part of their Signature Range, ‘The Lodge’, which is 20’ long and offers self-contained living space with bed, shower room and kitchen. Made with English oak windows and door and insulation from sheeps-wool. The stand is dressed with a timber deck, outdoor wood-fired bath and a re-wilding lawn.