Squire’s Garden Centres has broken with tradition this year in their choice of designer for their exhibit at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. For the past 21 years, Colin Squire, Chairman of local garden centre group Squire’s, has taken the lead in creating the display garden. This year, Colin has asked Ian Hammond, Plant Manager, from Squire’s Twickenham, to create the garden, recognising Ian’s specialist plant knowledge that he has shared with Squire’s customers for the past 24 years.
Squire’s garden, the Natural Tranquillity Garden, is designed to inspire and encourage amateur gardeners to use natural materials and many widely available varieties of plants to create an environment that encourages garden wildlife and provides a relaxed space to enjoy on a summers evening.
The garden uses all natural materials, with Ian taking the time to choose used railway sleepers and wane edged softwood boards to create the surrounds for an informal planting scheme of flowers, foliage and architectural plants.
The emphasis was to create a white garden planned in such a way as to highlight the spectacular foliage and architectural forms of the plants. The brief was that it had to contain ideas that visitors to the show could actually achieve in their own garden.
Ian has carefully selected bold and glossy leaved plants with architectural, variegated and silver foliage to bring a range of elements to the striking all white garden.
The garden incorporates many widely available evergreen shrubs to demonstrate how these varieties can create the perfect backbone to a garden. By mixing perennial and annual plants, Ian has extended the flowering season of the scheme, to give a variety of blooms and foliage throughout the season. Annual plants such as the striking Cosmos, mixed with perennials carefully selected to give lasting visual impact to the garden.
By choosing the right companion planting in the garden, the need for weeding and mulching can be dramatically reduced, creating a low maintenance haven. Ian has combined a number of plants to achieve this such as perennial geraniums and roses.
The Natural Tranquillity garden will come into its own in the evenings as a spectacle of white flowering and interesting architectural shapes remain highly visible long after the sun has set. Ian has also included a number of plants to appeal to our senses, such as white roses, Trachelospermum jasminoides and Thymus serphyllum ‘Snowdrift’ which come alive after dusk with a wonderful sweet fragrance.
The Natural Tranquillity Garden – Squire’s Garden Centres
Ian Hammond commented: ” It has been a real privilege to be given the opportunity to create the Natural Tranquillity Garden for Squire’s this year. The garden design reflects my personal interest in enhancing gardens so that they are enjoyable throughout the year, at all times of the day and give pleasure whether you are sitting socialising or actively gardening. My 24 years at Squire’s have raced by and I still love helping customers with their plant selections.”
“Ian has done a fantastic job in designing a garden that will inspire amateur gardeners, using plants that he know perform well and are readily available to the gardening public.” said Colin Squire. “We’ve exhibited a garden at Hampton Court Palace Flower Show since it began in 1990. We’re always keen to show our support, and are delighted to be here again, for the 22nd year.”
The Squire’s Natural Tranquillity Garden can be seen in the Floral Marquee at the Hampton Court Place Flower Show from the 3 – 8 July.
Plants included in Squire’s Tranquility Garden:
Cornus controversa ‘Variegata’
Hydrangea arborescens Increiball (‘Abetwo’)
Hydrangea quercifolia Snowflake (‘Brido’)
Agapanthus africanus ‘Albus’
Plants used in larger quantities
Rosa ‘Iceberg’ (bush)
Rosa – rambling varieties
Digitalis purpurea f. albiflora
Leucanthemum x superbum ‘Highland White Dream’
Hosta ‘Prince of Wales’
Geranium sanguineum ‘Album’
Festuca glauca ‘Intense Blue’
Cosmos bipinnatus (Sonata Series) ‘Sonata White’
Euphorbia hypericifolia ‘Diamond Frost’
Thymus serphyllum ‘Snowdrift’
Plants used as spot fillers (mostly potted)
Sutera cordata ‘Snowflake’ (Bacopa)
Erigeron karvinskianus ‘Kew Profusion’
Ipomea batatas cultivars
Dichondra argentea ‘Silver Falls’
Impatiens New Guinea Group
Clematis Ice Blue (‘Evipo003’)
Glechoma hederacea ‘Variegata’
Nemesia ‘Wisley Vanilla’