In May 2023, we exhibited at the BBC Gardeners World Spring Fair in Beaulieu, Hampshire designed by director Luke Mills and constructed by Wycliffe Landscapes, the show garden was inspired by Luke’s Nordic heritage.
Winning the top award of a Platinum medal and awarded Best Show Garden, the show garden explores the connection between the Nordic way of living and how it connects with the outdoor space within an urban environment to help relax, unwind, and rejuvenate.
The designs core has been created through simple interlocking geometric shapes that help create a smooth transition from one space to another. The use of a simple and natural material palette forms the hardscape. The bespoke buff Lymington Beige paving slabs from Forest Stone create the link between the yoga deck and the seating area.
The yoga deck, constructed from natural, local timber whilst being engulfed in planting, is an idyllic space to relax within the urban environment.
Entering the gravel seating area, with feature giant pebble seats which were kindly supplied by Torc Pots, a sunken reflecting pool and feature tree planted within the gravel creates aa tranquil space to reflect. The crisp reflection from the water feature supplied by Lux Unique adds another dimension to the space.
The planting palette was highly textured and carefully chosen to provide structure. Linking with the Nordic theme, the planting selection was designed to provide a calming impression on the garden aesthetically and on the user.
To aid in the structure and supply a base to the planting palette, a variety of textured topiary and evergreen shrubs were used. The Pittosporum tenuifolium, Ilex crenata ‘Convexa’ and Taxus baccata were planted throughout. Smaller, dwarf varieties such as Pinus mugo ‘Mops’ and Pinus sylvestris ‘Nana’ were used to replicate the feature, large trees on a different horizontal layer.
These shrubs provided the base, and structure for the grasses. The grasses, such as Stipa tenuissima, Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ and Anementhele lessoniana to name a few. Grasses help add natural movement to the space, wispy texture, and soft sounds. The use of trees within a garden always adds drama, height, and a theatrical feel to the space. Getting the balance right when using trees within a garden is vitally important. It isn’t just about positioning the trees to the back of the garden because they are tall. It brings the landscape to the front of the garden which enables the viewer and user to feel lost within the natural environment.
The trees throughout the show garden link directly to a landscape that can be found within the Nordic regions. The Pinus sylvestris and Betula utilis var. jacquemontii’s are staples of the Nordic scene. The trees, placed in an asymmetric way, will add extra texture at a height compared to the rest of the designed space. It will help link the garden to the vertical axis. All the planting was supplied by Folium and Flos.
We would like to thank everyone that helped put this garden together.