Continuing its support for horticultural excellence Marshalls plc, principal sponsor of the RHS Chelsea Flower, is once again sponsoring a variety of the North West’s finest garden designers at the RHS Tatton Park Flower Show with contributions from its inspiring range of hard landscaping materials.
Set in acres of Cheshire countryside RHS Tatton Park is famous for its friendly atmosphere, vibrant displays and inventive ideas, and this year is no exception. At the horticultural spectacle Marshalls has assisted to create two inspirational Show Gardens, a Back to Back Garden, plus one of the new Visionary Gardens for designers around the North West Region.
The first of the Show Gardens is designed by Phillippa Probert of Outer Spaces based in the Wirral. Marshalls has supported this young exciting designer for several years including her Tatton and Chelsea gardens where she has received a multitude of RHS Medals from Gold to Silver Gilt for her designs.
Again, Phillippa brings a fresh dimension to the show with her ‘Revolution Garden’. Designed for an office courtyard it is a space for employees to use and enjoy during their breaks to recharge their batteries before continuing with their working day.
Using Marshalls ethically sourced natural paving Eclipse Granite, in its contemporary board shape (800x200), Phillippa has applied this unique profile to help guide the visitor’s eye towards the back wall of the garden where there is an expansive surge of colour and shapes. The rugged natural beauty of Eclipse Granite provides the perfect subtle but sumptuous platform to build this kind of garden setting around.
In a contrast, the ‘Time Out’ Garden designed by Harry & Astrid Levy (Lancashire) and Geoff Carter (Cheshire) is designed to enhance any outdoor space regardless of the size of the plot. Featuring a signature water feature its noise and movement create ambience and atmosphere providing a tranquil area in which to relax and unwind.
To enhance the patio area the designers used Marshalls exclusive new Coach House Paving in Pennant. Coach House paving is ideal for traditional gardens, providing a delightful, authentic reclaimed stone look. The paving also has unique Active Shield protection. This virtually undetectable surface protection helps defend paving from the effects of weather, common stains and spills. Laboratory tests have proven Active Shield protection is 3 times easier to clean than untreated paving.
Another asset to the garden is the use of Marshalls Decorative Aggregates for around the pond and water fall. Here Atlantic Cobbles and Pebbles are been used in various sizes for a truly naturalistic feel.
Moving on to the ever popular Back to Back Gardens, Sue Beesley (BBC Gardener of the Year 2006 and Lodge Lane Nursery owner in Cheshire) & Isabelle Brooke’s (from Cheshire) feature ‘The Lunch Hour Garden’ once again aims to encourage and inspire organisations to create a garden that personnel can enjoy during breaks. The garden is made up of two main areas: an open social area where people can talk, eat together or conduct a mini-meeting outside; and a quieter area with individual seating, ideal reading, to think, or just switch off.
Sue and Isabelle have extensively used Marshalls Argent Paving and Walling of contemporary cool grey colours with granite aggregate texture to create a modern-day environment. The decision to use the cooler hard landscaping palette is becoming a more popular choice with designers to create a current look as its tones provide an ideal backdrop for planting. Also used in the garden is Marshalls Black Polished Pebbles for exquisite final detailing.
In the Visionary Gardens, an exciting new category providing an opportunity for designers to break the mould, Philip Dugdale (from Lancashire) has teamed up with Alan Burns (Ireland) for their ‘Cubed3’ garden which does just that.
Modular in its theme, it allows flexibility and continued development in the space itself. To achieve this, networks of gabions build together to create an entirely functional garden. These structures can be used as the foundation, the build and the finish, offering containment as well as the flexibility that a garden design needs today.
Alan and Phil have used Marshalls’ ethically sourced Howarth Moor Indian Sandstone paving to fill some of the gabions giving a dramatic man-made structural feel that is then balanced beautifully against the gardens strong, bold verdant planting.
The sourcing of ethical sandstone from India was featured recently on ITV’s News At Ten, particularly highlighting the use of child labour. Marshalls has been campaigning to raise awareness of the use of child labour in the sandstone industry in India and clearly the ITV news report by Rohit Kachroo shows this.
It is only when buying Indian sandstone in the UK from an ETI (Ethical Trading Initiative) Member which has an independently audited supply chain in compliance with the ETI Base Code, like Marshalls, that consumers can be sure that everything possible has been done to ensure their new patio has not been produced by child labour. It is imperative that consumers fully understand the impact of their buying decisions, so that change and real progress can be made in India to address this issue.
This kind of subject is at the heart of Marshalls national Campaign for Better Landscapes which calls for both public and private bodies, as well as individuals, to seriously consider the societal and individual benefits of creating ‘better landscapes’ in our towns, cities, public spaces and our private gardens. The campaign urges us all to take positive action by engaging with the social, economic and environmental benefits and to make the purchasing decisions which deliver these benefits.