I had a fabulous day at the Chelsea Flower Show yesterday and was delighted to find out today that Cleve West had not only won a gold medal, but the garden had been awarded ‘best in Show’. This is all the more impressive because the standards were so high, with some real quality show gardens on offer.
I am full of admiration for ayone who exhibits a show garden at Chelsea, it’s a complex process, with many hurdles to leap …. and takes lots of energy.
So what exactly does make a real quality show garden, what are those special ingredients that make one shine above the others?
A great design is usually a perfect mix of these ingredients:
- creative talent,
- a concise vision of what you want to achieve,
- a clear idea of how you’re going to do that,
- attention to detail is important too, all the small touches reinforce the whole picture,
- keep it simple and try not to incorporate too many elements, it’s so tempting to try too hard and include all your good ideas, but you have to be disciplined,
- getting to know you’re clients so the final garden is tailored to them,
- finally, the design must be well executed, so that all the time and effort spent on the design isn’t compromised.
This is probably true for any design, not only gardens.
I was asked on twitter yesterday which garden would get the top prize, and after a bit of thought decided to stick my head above the parapet and predict that Cleve would win Best in Show.
I loved the strong structure of topiary and hedges combined with the soft planting, with just the right amount of colour …. very restrained.
There was a gorgeous focal point at the end of the garden, read here about why focal points are good to have in a garden
This is what I mean about attention to detail:
Michael Caine, Janet Street-Porter and Clive Swift talking to Cleve in his garden.
When all these ingredients are combined together, they’re somehow more than the some of their parts, and create that extra special design.
I enjoy refining and developing the initial ideas (it’s often the most interesting part) whilst keeping the overall vision in mind, to make the design the best it can be.
It’s really thrilling to see any form of great design. I really believe that having well designed things around you, especially as part of your home, can add so much to your life, don’t you agree?
images: Jill Anderson