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“A green thought in a green shade”: literary inspiration for the garden

by Rhiannon James

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Frabjons Day Garden designed by Bill Butterworth, in the English Poet's Gardens Section at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2011. Credit: RHS / Jon Enoch

From the English Poet’s Gardens at Hampton Court Palace to Martin Cook and Bonnie Davies’ showpiece at Chelsea, literature has had a big influence at this year’s shows. So, if you’re looking for inspiration for your own garden, why not head for the bookshelf, and take a favourite classic, writer or genre as your muse.

Medieval Romance

Create a setting worthy of chivalrous deeds and valorous quests, with some pieces inspired by Arthurian legend.

 

  1. Gothic Arch Outdoor Stone Effect Mirror, £59.45, from Primrose London, www.primrose-london.co.uk, 0118 945 9999
  2. Gothic Three Seat Bench (with reeded steel), £475 from Ironart of Bath, www.ironart.co.uk, 01225 311273
  3. Square Cast Iron Planter with Lead Finish, £155 from Elizabeth and Stevens, www.elizabethandstevens.com, 01636 822000
  4. Gothic Urn and Base, £312 from Haddonstone, www.haddonstone.com, 01604 770711
  5. Wrought Iron Armillary Sculpture by Sculpsteel, £1470 (plinth not included) from Notonthehighstreet.com, www.notonthehighstreet.com, 0845 259 1359
  6. Gothic Vase, £194 from Haddonstone, www.haddonstone.com, 01604 770711
  7. Gothic Arch, £168 from English Hurdle, www.hurdle.co.uk, 01823 698418

Tales of Action and Adventure

The city may be short on secret caves and mysterious moors, but you can still turn your garden into the perfect place for an exciting adventure.

 

  1. Rope Ladder, £35.75 from the Eden Project, www.edenproject.com/shop, 01726 811947
  2. Rusty Fossils, £5 each from RE, www.re-foundobjects.com, 01434 634567
  3. Union Jack Wigwam, £72.50 from Funky Moose, www.funkymoose.co.uk, 0845 388 8845
  4. Twin Cacoon in Acrylic Canvas, £500 from Cacoon, www.hang-in-out.com, 020 8944 5141
  5. Rust Effect Garden Glass Light, £14.50 from The Balcony Gardener, www.thebalconygardener.com, 020 7431 5553
  6. Pebbles felt cushion seats, £1650 for a set of four (can also be purchased individually) from The Modern Garden Company, www.moderngarden.co.uk, 01279 653200
  7. Purple Schist Standing Stone, £425 per tonne from CED, www.ced.ltd.uk, 01708 867237
  8. Large Lava Planter (unglazed), £1280 from The Modern Garden Company, www.moderngarden.co.uk, 01279 653200
  9. Bamboo Garden Candle Torch, £4 from B&Q, www.diy.com, 0845 850 0175

English social comedy

Just add cucumber sandwiches to evoke the atmosphere of an E.M. Forster novel or an Oscar Wilde play.

Copyright for picture 9: Christie's Images Ltd. 2011

 

  1. Reigate Croquet Set, £229.99 from Jaques London, www.jaqueslondon.co.uk, 01732 500200
  2. The Victorian Nine Hole Dovecote, £995 from King Dovecotes, www.kingdovecotes.co.uk, 01342 324159
  3. Sussex Trug, £75 from Labour and Wait, www.labourandwait.co.uk, 020 7729 6253
  4. Vintage Tea Set, £65 from The Balcony Gardener, www.thebalconygardener.com, 020 7431 5553
  5. Wire Work Table and Two Carver Chair Set, £240 from Elizabeth and Stevens, www.elizabethandstevens.com, 01636 822000
  6. No. 3 The Love Seat, £508 from Raymentwire, www.raymentwire.com, 01843 821628
  7. Victorian Glass Hanging Tea Light Holder by Belle & Thistle, £4.50 each from Notonthehighstreet.com, www.notonthehighstreet.com, 0845 259 1359
  8. Vintage Medium Two Tier Cake Stand with Glass Separator, £45 from The Balcony Gardener, www.thebalconygardener.com, 020 7431 5553
  9. Edwardian Mahogany Tennis Racket Stand and Rackets (Lot 72) to be auctioned at Christie’s South Kensington on Sunday 31st July, estimate £400 to £600, www.christies.com, 020 7930 6074

Sci-fi

Create a garden that’s out of this world with futuristic furniture and accessories.

 

  1. Outdoor Stick Light, £799.99 from Firebox.com, www.firebox.com, 0844 922 1010
  2. Out/In Armchair from Driade, £1,557 from Made In Design, www.madeindesign.co.uk, 0207 692 4001
  3. No. 99 Hero Stool, £237 from Raymentwire, www.raymentwire.com, 01843 821628
  4. Miss Petra Armchair from MyYour, £448 from Made In Design, www.madeindesign.co.uk, 0207 692 4001
  5. Vintage Picnic Capsule by Retropolitan, £45 from Notonthehighstreet.com, www.notonthehighstreet.com, 0845 259 1359
  6. AQ Wireless Outdoor Speakers, £89.99 from Firebox.com, www.firebox.com, 0844 922 1010

Comic strip

Go big, bright and larger than life, to create a fun, cartoon-inspired look.

 

  1. Tree Watercan, £17.50 from DutchByDesign, www.dutchbydesign.com, 0844 884 2340
  2. MyYour Néfos Lamp, £445 from Made In Design, www.madeindesign.co.uk, 0207 692 4001
  3. Magis Julian Children’s chair, £79 from Made In Design, www.madeindesign.co.uk, 0207 692 4001
  4. Magis Puppy (large), £83 from Heal’s, www.heals.co.uk, 08700 240780
  5. Tea Cup Stool, £140 by Holly Palmer, www.hollypalmeronline.co.uk, 07738 252041
  6. Kartell Bubble Club Sofa, £538 from Heal’s, www.heals.co.uk, 08700 240780
  7. MyYour Tulip Light XL, £499 from Garden Beet, www.gardenbeet.com, 0203 397 2377

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