a group of friends talking in a patio area.

Marshalls' show season highlights

Darius Negahbani Darius Negahbani Wednesday 9th August, 2017

Beaches, borders and beards: our highlights of show season

Show season once again managed to exceed expectations this year, presenting plenty to inspire and intrigue gardeners looking for original ways to lift their outdoor space. We were particularly impressed with efforts at the Chelsea Flower Show and Gardeners’ World Live – and here are our three favourite displays.

It’s only natural

Tracy Foster’s Welcome to Yorkshire garden at Chelsea was one of the most visionary designs we’ve ever seen. Inspired by the rugged beauty of Flamborough, a coastal village in East Yorkshire, Tracy recreated a secluded beach scene – complete with a boat, sand, and buoys.

Tracy used over 3,000 plants, ranging from tiny species to tall trees, and edible varieties such as liquorice, oregano and thyme. The garden’s walls represented Flamborough’s imposing cliffs, and our Atlantic pebbles and Spanish cobbles helped complete the look of a serene coastline.

“I wanted to capture the coast, which is something I particularly enjoy,” said Tracy. “There’s so much variety on the coastline – the cliffs change in character as you go further north towards Whitby.”

Many of the natural materials in the garden were from the area – including the sand, which came from Scarborough – but Tracy also used our bespoke service for the garden’s edging, which was made from Stoke Hall Natural Stone.

“They’re linear pieces of stone but Marshalls were cleverly able to match it to the material we used for the folly,” Tracy added.

A sense of success

While Tracy’s design was all-embracing of the power of nature, the Jo Whiley Scent Garden at Gardeners’ World Live demonstrated that concrete paving can be just as striking.

The DJ worked with fragrance designer Jo Malone to demonstrate how the scent of a garden can enhance moods, lift spirits and improve wellbeing. Their entry was part of the BBC Radio 2 Feel Good Gardens, which showed how outdoor spaces can heighten the five senses – touch, taste, smell, sight and sound – as part of the station’s 50th anniversary celebrations.

Incorporating our Fairstone Sawn Versuro Garden Paving in Autumn Bronze, the Scent Garden’s moulded concrete border was shaped like a wave, as visitors let their minds drift away to personal memories, emotions and moods stirred by the scents.

Lounging around

Recent surveys have shown that an increasing number of 18-35 year olds are investing time and money in their outdoor spaces, and the emergence of the ‘hipster gardener’ was no better brought to life than by It’s Not Just About the Beard at Gardeners’ World Live.

Using our popular SYMPHONY Vitrified Plant Paving in Copper, along with Old Mill Brick Garden Walling, designers Peter Cowell and Monty Richardson married the industrial touches, typical of alternative bars and clubs, with rich green foliage and splashes of colour.

With its own bar made from reclaimed materials, a floating lounging platform, and quality, crafted brickwork, It’s Not Just About the Beard was instead about the quirky atmosphere, vintage themes and laid-back attitudes of a creative yet functional space.

Those were just some of our favourites from show season 2017, comment below to share yours.

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