The gardener's eye

The Gardener's Eye

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Best in Show at Chelsea

Andy Sturgeon's modern Jurassic Garden for the Telegraph won Best in Show at Chelsea last week. His intention for the garden was quite ambitious. He explained "Fundamentally, I was making a simple connection between colossal geological events that shape our planet, vast timescales and man’s relatively fleeting and insignificant time on Earth." He used 17 "bony plates' made of bronze to represent the spine of a stegosaurus. For hardscape, he also used smooth oatmeal-colored limestone, complete with Jurassic fossils for the paths, and contrasted it with ancient boulders quarried from the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset.

To my eye, the garden was a bit visually jarring. Although this garden was beautifully executed, I don't believe it will stand the test of time the way the last two winners, Dan Pearson or Luciano Giubbilei, will. It came across as trendy, but not timeless.

The Husqvarna Garden by Australian designer Charlie Albone, which won a Silver-Gilt award, was one of the few show gardens conceived along traditional formal lines. Perhaps the design erred on the side of being too safe and traditional, but I thought the way the plants were put together was beautiful.


  1. Some day I will get to Chelsea.... I think I agree, with winner is a trendy design.

    BTW, Michael did you happen to see and email from you (from your work site) about getting in touch with Laura T.? I will be in NH visiting my sister next week and wanted to see if I could connect with her... We knew each other in Seattle many years ago. Txs. Sarah

    1. Sarah,
      I must have misplaced the email. Please send it to my personal email:



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