Garden World’s 2014 Spring Festival this year celebrates ‘For the Love of Nature‘ with designer display gardens, revamps of a selection of gardens from previous years, the very popular School Gardens, Box Gardens and activities for children, plus a range of speakers, including David Davidson talking about his Chelsea 2014 garden, Jane Griffiths on container gardening and your Urban Garden, Roy Trendler on Gardening for Birds, and Brêkvis Live Outside Broadcasts from RSG.
Unlike many more fleeting gardens shows, the one at Garden World features gardens that stay on site for at least a month, and many for a year or more.
Louis d’Hotman is the General Manager at Garden World and is the backbone of the Garden World Spring Festival. If you need anything, Louis always makes a plan. He is also responsible for the growing of plants at the bottom end of the property. This is referred to as the ‘Farm’. Before you start a garden for the show you need to do some training as a marathon runner, as Louis sets up a speed from point A to point B that very few can keep up with. There were a few unused stands that had to be filled quickly, which also show off his amazing expertise.
New Display Gardens
Recreation of the ‘In Harmony with Nature’ Kirstenbosch garden, originally built at the Chelsea Flower Show in May and designed by David Davidson and Raymond Hudson.
A Silver-Gilt winner at Chelsea, this garden pays tribute to Nelson Mandela with 4 dioramas reflecting the spirit of South Africa and its incredible biodiversity
– the Enchanted Forest habitat of Kirstenbosch featuring its new ‘Boomslang’ (Tree Snake) tree canopy walkway and its unique ‘skeletal’ design; the Savanna habitat of the Limpopo River and its bushveld vegetation, a contemporary Fynbos garden representing the Cape Floral kingdom; and a mountain ravine ecosystem with its moisture-loving plants.
‘In Harmony With Nature’ is on display until the end of August 2014.
New Gardens – joint overall winners (Platinum Award) were Sonita Young’s ‘Dancing with Nature‘ and Grant Gove’s ‘Eat, Grow, Live’. Below are notes about the inspiration and design ideas behind each of the new display gardens for 2014.
Garden 1 – ‘Through the Eyes of the Innocent‘, design by Leon Kluge, Gold Award
Have you ever taken the time to talk to a child, wander through their boundary-less imagination, and explore their world full of possibilities? It’s a world where no “grown-up” rules are allowed. There you’ll find anything is possible, with this garden celebrating the creative world of a child’s imagination. This garden invites you to take a glimpse into that world. A world where autumn tree leaves don’t just fall and die, they gather together one last time and as the wind picks them up and twirls them into the air, it transforms them into stunning butterflies.
In the imagination, there is no need for harsh grey jagged rocks, instead they are brightly coloured, smooth flat ones to sit on, and wouldn’t birds be more happy if they lived in colourful nests?
Garden 2 – ‘Dancing with Nature‘, design by Sonita Young of Young Landscape Design Studio & implemented with JJ van Rensburg of Vuka-Scapes, Platinum Award
The Prairie style planting was inspired by the influential Dutch garden designer, Piet Oudolf, using bold drifts of herbaceous perennials and large masses of grasses. This gardening style is low maintenance and can easily be recreated by any keen gardener who has to endure freezing, Highveld winter temperatures. The grasses create a haven for all wildlife and their seeds are an absolute feast for birds.
The design style of the garden is contemporary and bold. Floating concrete steps and screeded concrete paths bring the plant colours to life, and are further enhanced by a beautiful custom-made contemporary steel artwork. The contemporary Pavilion in the center of the garden, creates an open space to relax in and view the garden.
Garden 3 – ‘Structured Simplicity‘, designed & constructed by Garden World, Silver Award
Strong structural lines frame the borders of this garden and repeat themselves through the water feature and seating area. The planting of hedge varieties emphasize these lines while leaving open areas for the simple plantings of seasonal perennials and colour which soften the view. This is a gardener’s garden, allowing for the whims and fun of mixed planting and seasonal change.
Garden 4 – ‘Eco Haze‘, design by Natalia & Darryl Richardson of Richardson Landscaping & Design, Gold Award
Inspired by the Fibonacci spiral of soft curved lines, this garden echo’s the natural flow and rhythm of nature. Both garden rooms are linked by the curved path lined with trees to create a woodland effect. An entertainment section on the deck is surrounded by the soothing sound of water gently flowing from one rill to the next.
Plants have been carefully selected to attract beneficial insects and birds into this small garden space. The materials in the garden have been chosen with the environment in mind; each product is either sustainable or eco-friendly. Elements such as the owl box and the insect hotel have been brought in to reflect a garden that is all-round nature friendly. No matter how small your garden space is, a natural garden that attracts wildlife with a sense of intrigue can be easily achieved.
Garden 5 – ‘Room with a View‘, design by Tim Hines of Space to Place, Gold Award
The increase in secure residential estates with their relatively small plots often leaves home owners with precious little space in which to develop a garden. The design for the show garden aims to demonstrate how a small space can be utilised in a way that treats the outdoor space as an extension to the home’s internal living space rather than as a stand-alone garden in the conventional sense.
Garden 6 – ‘The Birth of Nature‘, Sarah Vermaak of Acton Gardens, Gold Award
The organic design of this contemporary garden begins with the crater, from which the garden emerges into a world of soft planting, creating a powerful wave of colour that spreads from whites to mauves. Streams of contrasting groundcovers flow out from the crater, over and around a screeded pathway. Splashes of planted-up rings and topiary balls explode as life from the crater.
The wooden screening offers protection to this fragile creation. This garden brings together the need for contemporary living and the beauty of the place where nature all began. A practical yet artistic space for today’s modern homes and offices.
Garden 7 – ‘Key to Nature‘, design by Young Designers from UNISA & Tshwane University of Technology busy with their internship at Garden World, Silver Award
This landscape inspires and connects the viewer to nature with the structural formality of the topiaries and hedges; while still keeping the functionality and practicality of a garden with the seating area and the mixed edible garden. A paved walkway leads the visitor through the garden, around the focal point of the quiet water feature, to the low deck and then onto the vegetable and herb area. Both indigenous and exotic plants have been used to create an aesthetically pleasing design.
Garden 8 – ‘Oriental Surprise!‘, design by Damon Johnson of Terra Firma, Gold Award
This garden boasts the best of both worlds. An exquisite collaboration of contemporary, new-age oriental and the authenticity of old world eastern philosophies. The moon window provides a picture into the past or future depending on which side of the garden you’re in and is a key feature of the design.
It is a garden to relax in, yet still offers a journey to be enjoyed. The plants in the contemporary section are sun-lovers and were chosen with the water-wise aspect of design in mind while in the old world garden, the shadier beauties were chosen. All the plant choices display texture and colour combinations that dazzle the eye and senses.
Garden 9 – ‘Eat, Grow, Live‘, design by Grant Gove of GLC Design Studio & Four Seasons Gardens, Platinum Award
Eat, Grow, Live is a vision of a greener gardening future. Living in the city it’s easy to lose touch with nature. Start your day next to the meditation pond surrounded by art complemented by nature’s creativity. Build up an appetite with a swim in the natural eco pool, filtered by a reed bed and exquisite water plants. Rinse off in the outdoor shower with rainwater harvested from the roof.
Select lunch ingredients from the abundance growing in the edible rooftop garden, with urban-chic planters crafted from recycled pallets. While creating a delicious meal in the outdoor kitchen, chat to friends who are relaxing in swing chairs. As night falls, chill out in comfy pouffs on the roof top and watch an outdoor movie. Eat, Grow, Live.
Garden 10 – ‘Flowering Fantasy‘, design by Tshwane University of Technology under the guidance of their Lecturer Lana Marais, Silver Award
The name of the garden is derived from the flowing, curvy lines of the design. The Populus simonii ‘Fastigiata’ help to break the glaringly high walls with their skeleton branches during the winter months. They provide structure though leafless, and in summer are abundant with lush greenery that will provide some screening and privacy to the seating area. Planted Raised planters assist in creating levels of planting that counter the high walls which also provide further levels to add interest to the garden. The circular seating area provides a relaxing vantage point from which to enjoy the flowing fantasy garden with its sensational fantasy flower water feature.
Garden 11 – ‘Circular Serenity‘, design & construction by Garden World, Silver Award
The circular lines of the grass islands, reflected again in the low topiary balls and the scattered trees, lend an air of quiet serenity to this landscape, with no sharp or angular lines.
Open vistas and no clear pathways allow you to wander in this quiet comfort.
Garden 12 – ‘The Journey‘, design by Sonita Young of Young Landscape design studio, Silver Award
The stone temple dogs stand guard at the entrance of this beautiful oriental styled garden. A natural stone path beckons you to take the journey through a mysterious small Bamboo forest, leading you into the modern styled tea house, to sit down, relax and reflect. From the tea house, the journey continues on a rough stone path, over a small bridge into the forest. The journey continues up a gravel path, past a beautiful waterfall, the large natural stone stepping stones allow you to walk over the stream, back into the real world. The garden incorporates three distinctly different oriental styles, on entering one encounters the ‘old world; overgrown Bamboo forest, leading you into the contemporary tea house garden and then into a wonderful strolling forest garden.