I loved the curved back wall in the Coastal Drift garden. The texture of the upright timbers set into the render really brought an extra dimension to the space and, if the sun had been shining (!) would also have cast shadows on the wall.
This garden was one of my favourites within the Summer Garden category - I think because I could really imagine sitting there. The wall and swathes of grasses represented waves.
One of the main show gardens, The Italian Job, featured beautiful sections of stone wall interspersed with formal hedging. This garden was really well-balanced and I think the wall and hedges worked brilliantly with the pleached trees. These three elements held the garden together in an interesting and three-dimensional way.
The Badger Beer garden was lovely with its informal wild flower planting and curved pathway. I thought the use of the upside down bottles was really interesting.
They added texture and structure in an artistic way and it got me thinking about other materials that could be used in this way...timber, steel, glass or plastic for example and with a bit of lighting it could look really amazing at night too.
I loved the floating stepping-stones in the Contemporary Contemplation garden, particularly as they were over planting. You often see this sort of thing over water, but somehow this is more interesting.
In The Essential Indulgence garden I really liked the way the slate had been used on edge to lead the paving around the curve. Using square slabs on tight curves can look a bit ugly if you're not careful so this was an elegant solution that added texture, interest and also accentuated the direction of the path.
I also wanted to show you the reclaimed scaffold boards which were used to construct the steps, benches and boundary walls in the Low Cost, High Impact garden, Our First Home, Our First Garden. This effect could be recreated with other timbers, either with a smooth contemporary finish or with a timber like green oak which would twist and age over time.
This has actually inspired me with a covered seating area I am working on in a garden in Twickenham. It will provide a physical barrier without cutting out the light and it will also add texture whilst allowing connection with the surrounding plants.
(Photos: Lisa Cox)