I’ve heard it said that new experiences not only start the brain synapses fizzing but that taking on a new challenge keeps us fresh and full of life. Back in September it therefore seemed an excellent idea to try something we’d never attempted before – designing a show garden! Harrogate Flower Show were looking for designers to design and stage a show garden for their 2016 Spring Flower Show and so we thought – why not!

Harrogate Flower Show is one of the biggest regional flower shows, drawing 90,000 visitors from across Yorkshire and beyond to its two shows each year. The standard is high – take a look at the 2016 entries here: Inspirational Show Gardens at Harrogate Flower Show. But we like a challenge and we also liked the idea of bringing one of our gardens in front of a large audience. We would, we thought, be able to start a conversation with the visitors about what Yorkshire folk really want from their garden, as well as perhaps gaining one or two new commissions.

So at the back end of last year we got our heads together, spending an awful lot of hours thinking and researching; drawing up and discarding many, many concept diagrams; listing plants we thought might be in flower in April, only to discover they were too chancy…… and in early February we finally had our designed confirmed!


Here’s a drawing of what the garden will look like. Looks simple, doesn’t it, after all that work?!


The idea for our ‘Transition’ garden design came from a common theme we hear from folk for whom we design gardens: They need somewhere to wind down from the busyness of the day, but at the same time have little spare time for gardening, and may often not have a spacious garden anyway. Our response to that is ‘Transition’, which we hope will show that, even in a limited space, it’s possible for a garden to contain everything needed to be a place of relaxation.

We chose the circle as the design theme for this garden because of its sense of strength, enfolding and completing. Not just the paving and lawn but the shapes of some of the shrubs, and even leaves and flowers also echo this theme.

The garden will highlight the changing seasons as different plants appear, flower and retreat. The green and white colour scheme has ‘pops’ of more vivid, zesty colour, mainly purples and oranges, woven through it to add highlights.

We now frequently imagine ourselves sitting on the comfortable bench, enfolded by the space, and enabled to cast off the strain and stress of a busy day. Bliss!

What’s next in the story?

So far so fab. Now we’re having meetings with suppliers, landscapers and other folk who are all going the extra mile to help us make this garden a reality by April 20th – Harrogate Spring Flower Show 2016 Judging Day. And of course there’s that day job to get done too….