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    Show gardens celebrate Cardiff’s twin cities

    Twinned gardens for 10th anniversary

    As part of the RHS Show Cardiff‘s 10th anniversary celebrations, three show gardens inspired by the city’s twinned cities in China, Ukraine and Norway will be created.

    The three gardens are being designed by Welsh garden designers and will be judged along with the event’s other show gardens.


    Hordaland County in Norway has been twinned with Cardiff for 18 years. The prosperity of both is based on the importance of its ports – with coal the focus at Cardiff and fishing at the heart of the Hordaland County economy.

    Designer Victoria Wade, who is based in Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, and won a gold medal at the 2013 show, plans to take inspiration for the show garden from its natural landscape, with lush vegetation, mossy rocks, woodland pools and birch trees.

    An old farmhouse in Carmarthenshire will provide the 200-year-old cobbles that will represent the cobbled streets of historic Bergen, the main town of Hordaland County.


    Cardiff has been linked to Lugansk in the Ukraine since 1959. Lugansk sits on the eastern border of Ukraine and is in the midst of an economic regeneration. Near the Donetsk coalfield, it is now finding a life after coal – a process Cardiff has been undergoing for the past 30 years.

    Designer Anthea Guthrie plans to recreate a dacha, a garden that helps families to enjoy outdoor life, and grow their own vegetables. It is also supposed to help provide some respite from the concrete jungle of big Russian cities, and Anthea hopes her garden will convey the fun of family life where the family can camp out in summer.

    The garden will feature a building called a banya, which is made from recycled materials, as are the fencing, furniture and other items.


    Cardiff was the first city in the UK to twin with a city in China. Xiamen is a tourist destination, dubbed ‘the grade on the sea’.

    Designer Dr Sue Thomas will include a bridge, tea house and lake in this Chines garden. It is based on the classic Chinese garden principles with a zigzag Path, a painted bridge over water, rocks and pine trees, and a pavilion.

    The ‘borrowed view’ (jiejing) is also important in Chinese garden design, and the wooded backdrop of the show site at Bute Park provides just the thing.



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