This week we were excited to see details of the designs and briefs for the show gardens for the 2015 Chelsea Flower Show. Last year, London Stone was a proud supplier to the gold medal-winning ‘London Square’ garden designed by Jo Thompson who used porcelain tiles for the paving. This year her garden is called ‘The Retreat’ which will represent a place for reflection and relaxation surrounded by stunning swathes of natural planting.
Over the past few years there has been a strong trend towards the use of natural stone paving in show gardens, whether it is British stone, such as Yorkstone, Portland stone, Pennant sandstone paving, granite, slate, and limestone, or stone from other countries. Designers who are aiming for a contemporary feel are attracted to our range of sawn paving products which can be cut to a bespoke specification and complemented by coping stones. (Click here for our range of sawn paving) Stone paving with texture – for example, riven Indian sandstone paving, Kota Brown limestone, slate or granite – provide the perfect look for a more natural show garden combining well with free-form planting.
Paths, steps and walls are particularly important in show gardens where space is limited and where lawns are often omitted. The visitor is confined to the boundaries and views the gardens from outside which means that plants are often better appreciated when planted in raised areas linked by steps. In a show garden every detail matters which means there needs to be immaculate construction of retaining walls and coping stones, as well as step treads and risers.
These are all products we specialise in. We stock step treads which come in a wide range of different stones and colours, in three sizes and a bull-nosed front edge. For a bespoke design we are able to cut the stone to size using the latest technology and finish the edges with a customised profile.
One of our recent introductions which can be used in a show garden setting are our stone edgings which can be used where a shallow change in level is required to create a raised bed. They can be used to edge borders, paths and lawns.
Show gardens provide ideas for our own small gardens showing how changes of level add interest in a restricted space. Patio stones make up such a large proportion of a tiny area that getting it right is of paramount importance when landscaping a small space. The other consideration is keeping the number of different hard landscaping materials to a minimum, which avoids the garden looking disjointed - something which show gardens frequently demonstrate.
The correct choice of stone paving may be the difference between bronze and gold at this year’s shows and we look forward to finding out more about what to expect at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show. With experience of working with some of the UK’s leading designers and landscapers, London Stone’s team is happy to provide all the advice you might need for a truly show-stopping garden.