Based on forest gardening techniques, a large number of the plants are edible, paired with a variety of seeded vegetables, to create a low maintenance garden which nurtures our relationship with nature, whilst still being functional. Sponsored by Future Gardens and contracted by Flower and Stone, the plants will be supplied by many including Provender, Kelways, Incredible Vegetables and R W Walpole.
Q&A with the garden designers, Andreas Christodoulou & Jonathan Davies:
What do you anticipate the biggest challenge of the build to be?
This is our first show, so getting to grips with logistics, site organisation, and timings is our first challenge. Our planting scheme works with a lot of perennial edibles, which are not easy to purchase from the usual suppliers, so we have had to reach out to a number of specialist growers. In a way, the very idea of putting this into a show garden goes against the grain of our design, as we would ideally create a garden for a client that would mature gently, rather than creating an instant impact that lessens the relationship between the space and the user. However, we really wanted to bring these design ideas and wonderful techniques that people are using around the world, to the mainstream — Hampton is a great arena for that, and they have been incredibly supportive.
What are the stand out feature(s) of the garden?
The garden is based on agro forestry principles of tiered tree shrub and perennial planting, that mimics the way eco systems work in harmony in the natural environment. We are using a technique called hügelkultur, using mounded areas of layered organic materials, logs, garden waste, turf scrapings, top soil and compost to echo the environment of a forest. We are producing a bespoke handbook for our garden with inspiration, techniques, poetry and philosophy, as well as a harvest chart, and recipes for planting in the space that we would give to our potential client. The idea is that they then become the personal stewards of that space.
Are there any new/unique plants visitors should look out for?
We have had to use our allotment for some plants, to help grow them on a bit. The edible plants used in the garden are a mix of familiars — interesting plants you would know, but not know were edible — and some lesser known perennial veg and trees shrubs, such as Hemerocallis fulva, Stachys affinis, Sium sisarum, Matteuccia struthiopteris, Halesia carolina, and Galium odoratum.