Tuesday, 14 October 2008

the garden of three r's at Malvern

well, seeing as other people have managed to write some lovely bits about our recent show garden at Malvern, I thought it was pretty lame to have not covered it myself. very remiss...

so, here goes - the as brief as I can lest you all fall asleep description of the garden and what we got up to at Malvern...
'the garden of three r's' was first staged at BBC Gardeners' World Live in June 2008, and we were thrilled when we got a bronze medal and 'the NS&I Peoples Vote' 2008. people love a bit of ethics... anyway, we were invited to restage at Malvern, in the new edible pavilion for the Autumn Show, which was grand.

for those of you who are unsure, the three r's stand for 'reduce, reuse, recycle', and the garden was designed to be completely sustainable , in planting, materials used etc. many of the bits in the garden were either reused from an original life (like the planter for our black mulberry, which was an old oven casing bought at a scrap yard for £5) or recycled, like our fantastic recycled glass pavers from Enviroglass.

the main focus of the garden was the butterfly pavilion, which was made from a standard 6 x 4 shed, to show the general joe that anyone can have a bit of drama for not much cash. we split the front and back sections of the shed, flipped them around, and inverted the roof. because we had lowered the ridge line, we raised the shed up onto a plinth (clad in reclaimed aluminium printing plates) and added an extra ridge beam to take the new loads from the altered roof. recesses in the shed sides housed a beehive and a wormery, and the space both took up were made into the aluminium clad potting bench inside. all was given a couple of coats of a natural woodstain, and voila - one butterfly roofed shed.

the roof was covered with a new sedum and herb mixed blanket from bauder, and featured a solar panel to run the water feature, which was made from a wicked recycled plastic sheet with shredded bank notes in (ones that would otherwise have been burnt...). a valley gutter directed water front and back to a tomato filled trough or water butt, and the whole lot sat in a deck made from reclaimed scaffold boards.

my other obsession of late has been galvanised bits, and this garden was no exception, with a perimeter boundary of locally coppiced chestnut and reclaimed scaffold poles.

planting was fully edible (except the water lettuces) with a limited colour palette to reflect the modernity of the design.

well, did we get a medal? yes we did, a nice little silver one thank you. I would have liked the silver gilt, but I live to fight another day... and honestly, the best bit was talking to the public and spreading the eco word about a bit. (that was after I had finished raging...)

thank you to all those who visited the garden during it's life (including some celebrities...). another drawing has just leapt off my board and into a submission for next year - will keep you posted on its progress...

laters all

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