Marcus Barnett's design for The Telegraph used a successful formula for design that it reminiscent of many recent Chelsea gardens: a modern patio with a clean stone/hedge backdrop, clipped blocks of yew and beech, elegantly limbed up trees and the ubiquitous low wildish herbaceous planting mixing flowers and grasses. In another year, it could have easily won Best in Show but this year, Dan Pearson offered something completely different.
Dan Pearson's design sponsored by Laurent-Perrier was very wild and intricately planted. It was inspired by the Trout Stream at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire. In fact, soapstone boulders from the estate were transported to Chelsea to form the hardscape of the garden. The complexity and details of the planting boggled the mind. My main criticism of the garden was that it was a three-sided island garden which made photography difficult without having spectators and/or buldings in the backround. It also made the fantasy that transports one to another place and time impossible. That said, the triangular shape allowed veiwing the complexity of the plantings easier. The edges of the garden which were inches away looked as if they had been there for hundreds of years.