The Laurent-Perrier Garden designed by Luciano Giubbilei
Irish Sky Garden designed by Diarmund Gavin
The Daily Telegraph Garden designed by Cleve West
We spent the last day of The Best of English Gardens tour at the Chelsea Flower Show. We arrived on site as soon as it opened and were able to take a look before the throngs of people descended. It was a gorgeous day and a very comfortable temperature.
Almost every display garden had something that I admired but several had elements that I didn't think enhanced the gardens. Diarmund Gavin's beautiful garden employed a distracting "pod" or floating garden that was lifted into the air by a gigantic crane. It came off as more of a publicity stunt than inspiring gardening. That is unfortunate because I liked the rest of the garden very much. The garden consisted of a pleasing combination of yew, boxwood and hornbeam topiaries mixed with drifts of ornamental grasses.
The Laurent-Perrier Garden designed by Luciano Giubbilei was one of the best gardens, I thought. This Italian designer is known for impeccable formal spaces with very little herbaceous material. He broke away from that formula with two tasteful and harmonious herbaceous borders that felt very English. I thought the boulders sculpted by Peter Randall-Page were striking. The garden also had a dozen mature Parrotia persica specimens which were limbed up in a very elegant fashion.
The Best in Show Award went to Cleve West's garden for the Daily Telegraph. West's garden had a Roman ruin theme and had several stone columns created by pair of sculptors from the south of France named Serge Bottagisio and Agnes Decoux. The columns were inspired by the Roman ruins at Ptolemais, in Libya and the garden walls were made of golden Cotswolds stone. The sumptuous and subdued herbaceous planting complimented the wall which was painted a mellow golden color.
I was sad to see The Best of English Gardens tour end but I am anxious to return to my own garden to try put some new ideas, inspired by the tour, into place.