COUNTDOWN TO CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW (1)

Created by one of my favorite designers, this show garden was exhibited at Chelsea in 2008. Enjoy!
With monastic simplicity as her theme, Arabella Lennox Boyd's design for The Daily Telegraph garden is a contrast of vertical and horizontal elements; of planting and water; of hard and soft. Quiet beauty and minimalism.  Her inspiration came from the zen garden of raked gravel at the temple of Roan-ji in Kyoto Japan.  There's also the echo of the traditional yin-yang symbol in the "s" shaped central pathway and balanced placement of rocks.


 
Dry Garden @ Roan-ji

Two thirds of the site has been flooded by water,  The garden is dominated by a rectangular shallow, stone-edged, pool of water which fills the centre of the garden, and is softened by planting on two sides.  The surface is broken by rocks and a serpentine path of slate paving. They are crossed by twisting ribbons of white waterlilies (Nymphaea alba), which links the front of the garden to the planting at the back, and leads the eye towards a bamboo thicket.
A narrow strip of  tiered yew hedging runs alongside the pool.  At the rear of the site, the garden diffuses into the green shade of a large Caucasion Wingnut tree. Pterocarya fraxinifolia. It's appreciates moisture, produces long green catkins and pendulous strings of fruit later in the season, has handsome pinnnated leaves. 
Large green leaves (including Gunnera), grey leaves, vertical bamboo and iris, rounded shrubs and roses create a rhythm.   At the rear of the garden, under the large Pterocarya fraxinifolia,  Arabella has set a mirror behind a grove of bamboo (Phyllostachys aurea and P. sulphurea f. viridis) which provides a bright, flickery shimmer that echoes the play of light on water.
The pool is edged in loose slate chippings sandwiched beween 2 strips of purbec limestone, hand hammered to create a dimpled surface.