Extending your garden up or down is a great way of making more space in small gardens and takes the idea of a green roof one step further.
The Ikea and Tom Dixon garden entitled Gardening Will Save The World combines a mix of traditional planting methods and futuristic horticulture. The leisure and relaxation element of the garden is elevated, while the area below does the hard work of growing salads, mushrooms and herbs under specialist grow lighting.
Another fantastic example of a double-decker garden was Ishihara Kazuyuki’s Green Switch. A garden that represents the space we inhabit when we ‘switch off’ from the stresses of contemporary urban life. Ishihara Kazuyuki is a master of moss and displays exquisite mossy spheres in lush piles. Moss also appeared in the RHS Back To Nature Garden and in the Welcome To Yorkshire Garden.
MAKE A WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
Even in a small town garden Finnish designer Taina Suonio shows that you can create a sanctuary for yourself as well as a wide range of pollinators. In her garden, The Roots in Finland Kyrö Garden she draws them in with a fragrant and diverse range of perennials and flowering shrubs.
If you’re looking for a new way of dividing up your space, try building a log wall like the one in Paul Hervey-Brookes’ Art of Viking garden. Not only is it relatively cheap and pretty to look at, it will act like a giant bug hotel, too.
SUSTAINABILITY AND IMPACT
Chelsea is waking up to the issue of sustainability and how gardeners can have a more positive impact on their environment. A welcome move, but I would still like to see more of a focus on the materials we bring into our gardens and how they are implemented.
The planting in The Harmonious Garden of Life, designed by Laurélie de la Salle, promotes environmental awareness and responds to the threat of global warming by using plants that require less water and even enrich the soil naturally such as clover. It also includes plants that purify the air; Bamboo absorbs high amounts of CO2 and Ivy is one of the best plants for absorbing pollutants from the air.
GREEN ON BLACK
The huge burnt-oak timber sculptures created by craftsman Johnny Woodford for Andy Sturgeon's M&G garden. Staining a fence black is a bold move but in the right setting, it can look superb as it causes the boundary to recede. It also makes an excellent backdrop for planting particularly the popular shades of green on display including Equisetum, Restios, Nothofagus antartica, Carpinus betulus, Gunnera killipiana, Epiolobium, Arisaema and Disproposis bodinieri.