We are chuffed to bits as we have been invited by the RHS to stage an urban front garden at the London show in February 09. We are to be one of three gardens - the others being a group from Capel Manor and another designer yet to be announced from a competition run by the Society of Garden Designers. As you can see, we are in exceptional company, and excited doesn't even come close.
The design has been evolving for a couple of weeks now, and I can now do a little reveal of the concept of the design and a wee sketch...
'the electric urban orchard' is a sustainable front garden with a difference. It recognises the fact that people have vehicles and parking is at a premium (especially in London), but also that paving over a front garden is hugely detrimental to the environment, both on a spiritual and personal level, but also with regards localised flash flooding. A successful front garden should be able to incorporate all needs of the user and be sustainable in all terms.
Therefore, a sustainable urban drainage system (SUDS) is included, made from bound recycled glass and illicit CD chips, to allow two electric scooters to be parked at the front of the house. These scooters are charged via sockets in the bottom of recycled plastic planters, placed beneath the window for security.
The design is simple and graphic, with lines taken from the facade of the house into the horizontal of the garden. Ribbons of planting continue from the ground up the facade into a green wall module system, physically linking the two planes together.
The planting scheme echoes the graphic simplicity of the layout, being mostly made up of herbs such as rosemary, sage, lavender and thyme, but an unexpected twist comes with the inclusion of three different forms of apple - espalier, steopover and standard. 'the electric urban orchard' is intended to be a modern garden, with a nod to traditional formality, and also a place to park.
Let me know your thoughts...