I went to Hampton Court yesterday to see a couple of the show gardens that London Stone have supported this year. One of the companies we worked with is Stephen A Ryan Garden Design. The "I have a dream garden" designed by Stephen for Hampton Court 2013 was designed to mark the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther Kings groundbreaking speech at the Lincoln memorial in Washington DC. The garden has segregated black and white planting areas and also a black and white flowing water feature that joins in the center of the garden. The garden is designed to celebrate the progress of the multi racial society and acts as a stark reminder that prejudice still needs to be resisted.
I am no expert on garden design, so the following review will not be an ultra technical assessment of the "I have a dream garden", but hopefully it will highlight in simple terms why i think its such a great garden.
I am a big fan of contemporary garden schemes but I also like gardens that are not too stuffy and that actually exhibit some life. This garden had all the clean lines that you would expect of a contemporary garden but the vibrant colours provided by the plants and screens give the garden a warm and relaxed feeling. This was further helped by the plants cascading over from the formally shaped beds into the paved areas and this served to link the paved areas to the planted beds. The Moleanos beige limestone paving that we supplied had not only been expertly laid by Daniel Clark of Open Space but had also been thoughtfully designed by Stephen A Ryan. The attention to detail of the hard landscaping in general was very impressive. A Portland stone bench had been supplied to sit in the corner of the garden. The bench sat on top of limestone setts which created a very subtle link between the paving, and the bench. If the paving had run straight up to the bench then the contrast between the paving and bench would have been too great but the setts provided a bridge between the different textures and little design touches like this are what sets this garden apart. The limestone paving had also been chamfered along the edges which provided a nice definition along what could have been a boring straight edge.
I also like the fact that the garden is low maintenance. People lead busy lives and often don't have the time to spend hours and hours maintaining their gardens, so I am sure the low maintenance angle will also appeal to others.
The judges at Hampton Court must have liked the garden as well because it was awarded a silver gilt medal. This is the first show garden that Stephen A Ryan Garden Design have done, so they are obviously delighted with the award. After spending half an hour in the garden my over riding thought was that "i would love this to be my garden"
Well done to Stephen & his team and we look forward to working with you again in the future and here are some pictures of Stephens Garden