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Darren Hawke’s Key Plants on the Brewin Dolphin Garden 2015

Darren has chosen Ulmus minor (small leaved elm) as they will give the garden a rugged rural feel and because of their wonderful corky bark and ridged stems. For show time in May they should be in full fresh green leaf. Darren felt Elms were a very appropriate choice of tree for the Brewin Dolphin Garden as they, like the firm have a real sense of heritage. Elms can be considered by many to be ‘risky’ and Darren applauds Brewin Dolphin for taking a ‘risk’ on him, a  relatively unknown garden designer.

Despite the disease issues in some parts of England, Elms have continued to thrive in the South West of England where Darren lives and where they still have a noble and worthy presence which he feels ought to be celebrated and seen by the public at the Chelsea Flower Show. It’s unlikely that Elms will appear on any other show garden.

Viburnum carcephalum has a very open habit, is slightly informal and has a heavenly scent.  Darren first saw it in a garden he maintained in London many years ago.  This Viburnum reminds him of the onset of late Spring /early Summer and it will be used repeatedly throughout the garden to highlight the sweeping curves of the dry stone wall.

Aquilegia tower blue with be used sparsely as only 6 of these plants are available and they all come from Darren’s own garden in Cornwall.  This plant is subtle, dainty and pretty, an old fashioned Granny’s bonnet that self seeded in his garden and despite attempts to find it, it’s currently only available from seed.  The pale blue full double flowers are a little like ladies petticoats and will be used at front of the garden so the public can marvel at it!  It’s delightful for a border or as cut flowers.

Delphinium consolida regalis (larkspur) is a lovely species delphinium grown from seed by Kelways who are supplying all of the plants for this garden. At just 14 inches high it’s rather a petite delphinium and will be used throughout to create a ribbon effect also picking up on the curve of the dry stone wall.

The garden has two very different aspects; from the front it’s angular and modernist but from the side is much softer, curving and sinuous.  The planting positions and colour schemes emphasize this.  Overall the strong colour reference is green with accents of blue / purple and white, creating a very fresh and clam garden.

Macleaya Cordata ‘Kelway’s Coral Plum’ Macleaya microcarpa ‘Kelway’s Coral Plume’

Other names: Plume poppy ‘Kelway’s Coral Plume’

Genus: Macleaya Macleaya

Variety or Cultivar: ‘Kelway’s Coral Plume’ _ ‘Kelway’s Coral Plume’ is a fast growing perennial with large, round and lobed grey-green leaves with tiny creamy pink flowers are carried in large, light panicles.

is a voracious perennial, a garden ‘thug’ that Darren uses often for its almost Jurassic appearance.  The huge leaves are soft and floaty and deliver great movement to a garden particularly when windy. The tall plume-like panicles of tiny pink flowers will create a hazy mist effect above large scalloped blue-green leaves.

This garden will feature six Euphorbia pasteurii plants, one of which was used on Darren’s 2013 Chelsea Flower Show garden and as it’s such a wonderful specimen he has lifted it from a client’s garden to bring to Chelsea again.  These plants have been specially chosen for their size of leaf and zingy colour.

When asked about the challenges of doing a Chelsea Flower Show garden Darren Hawkes said,          “Having done my 1st Chelsea Garden in 2013, I learnt a huge amount about what not to do and when to worry and when not to……..I now know the importance of forward planning.  That said,  all the planning in the world can fail when dealing with nature so it’s essential to have plans B and C! Designers need to be flexible and it’s imperative to work with the best growers and contractors  as they take an enormous amount of the pressure away from us. With Kelways growing for us and Bowles & Wyer building, I believe that the Brewin Dolphin Garden is in the very best possible hands”

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