As the weather at Chatsworth improves, the fabulous planting across the whole show has come in to it’s own on the first public day. On the Agriframes Garden spectacular gravity defying delphiniums have certainly attracted much attention and admiration, but as well as drama, gardens need texture, structure and movement in their planting schemes.
On site at Chatsworth, Melinda Thomas of Sanctum Garden Design explains her approach:
The process of planting in a show garden is perhaps a little more formal than in your garden at home, in that there is a story that needs to be told and a brief that needs to be answered, but the principles are just the same – providing interest throughout and selecting plants that complement one another and their environment.
In the Agriframes Show Garden, the design calls for two distinct styles of planting - one ‘quiet’ area and another more colourful open area – not something that many people would automatically associate with a ‘modernist’ garden. We wanted to stay true to the theme of the garden whilst introducing colour and so looked to the work of Gunta Stolzl for inspiration. She was a textile artist and the only female master of the Bauhaus, her textiles use lots of colour and have amazing colour combinations including bright blues, greens and pinks. We picked out some of these colours to weave through the planting mixing them with plants which had been chosen to add texture and movement.
In the quiet area we have concentrated on a limited choice of plants and palette of colours, using much more green and white to help create a sense of calm and to reflect in the pools in polished paving that we have throughout the garden. I enjoy using colour to introduce accents and surprises in an otherwise more muted colour palette – but others prefer a riot of colour throughout and that’s the beauty of gardening at home – you can change the mood from season to season and from year to year. In a show garden we have to create a ‘snapshot’ but hopefully one that visitors to the show can take away and use as inspiration at home.