The BrandAlley garden which was conceived as a garden of contrasts was built at the 2013 Centenary year Chelsea Flower Show. This was a garden of two halves. A space to reflect on the two aspects of peoples lives. The public and the private.
The private aspect of this garden is a hidden sanctuary. Reflective, inspirational, quiet and soothing. A place away from the busy hectic schedule of daily living.
A sunken seating area to hide away in nestled under a multi -stemmed Zelkova serrate. The eye level planting seen from this area is peachy orange, cream and green. Aquilegias ,Geums and Berberis are some of the plants seen from here with soft tendrils curling over the edges. In addition to this floating steps which were the same dimensions as the paving stones in the public side of the garden made a subtle link bringing together these two contrasting spaces and in the surrounding wall, cut out openings were softened with a unique water textile installation. This was commissioned specifically for this space and was designed and made by Fiona Haynes. This unique feature demonstrates how even our private lives are subject to voyeurism.
The public side of the garden was much more showy with beds of textural shrubs and richly coloured herbaceous perennials. Heptacodium for its naturally stylish nature and the elongated elegant form of the Foxtail Lily. The prominent features in this half were the upright monoliths and life size amorphous sculptures. The artist commissioned to create these for the garden was Andrew Flint who sculpted four in total and in the garden these were framed by cubed hornbeam trees. The granite monoliths complemented these sculptures and provided an alternative to the usual table and seating arrangement found in public areas and integrated fully into the fabric of the garden. Cut out slits in the surrounding wall gave Chelsea visitors an intriguing glimpse into the garden. This garden used space efficiently on different levels and with different textures. The strong visual split in the form of the sharp and angular path gave definition to the two sides of the garden. The colour scheme was deliberately limited and the materials used were eco-friendly throughout and safe havens for birds and wildlife were created using Ashlar block ledges.
In the garden the planting was carefully selected to encourage pollinating insects particularly moths which are in decline. Clever crevice nesting sites were built into the walls for small garden birds. This garden was designed to use space efficiently and to show how to divide and unite a garden through the colours and materials used.
IMAGE & TEXT CREDITS | Paul Hervey-Brookes Associates