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Gardens

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Chelsea Flower Show 2015: city garden inspiration

by Rhiannon James

A design for a rather larger-than-average back garden, in the shape of Dan Pearson’s showpiece for Chatsworth, might be dominating the headlines at Chelsea but there are still some exciting ideas for urban gardens at this year’s show.

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Community garden set to wow south west

by Alice Wright

A large-scale community growing space in Cornwall aims to provide a model for urban biodiversity, community involvement and education

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The Yeo Valley Organic Garden

by Abigail Willis

As the UK’s only Soil Association accredited ornamental garden, the Yeo Valley Garden is a standard bearer for organic gardening. But if the adjective ‘organic’ attached to the word ‘garden’ conjures worthy images of over-abundant weeds, undernourished plants and lacklustre design think again. Set in the Mendip Hills, overlooking the valley that gave its name to the eponymous organic dairy brand, this 6.5 acre garden is proof that organic cultivation need not preclude ambitious design, a diverse and thriving plantscape, or a sense of humour.

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Rooftop vegplot

by Abigail Willis

The Dutch Caribbean island of Saba is a long way from Fitzrovia but its rocky landscape provided fertile inspiration for Wendy Shillam’s high-rise vegetable garden in W1. Seeing the way the resourceful Sabans raised veg crops in containers or in thin soil on the mountain terraces surrounding their cottages, Wendy realised that lack of cultivatable land need not be an obstacle to growing food on her fifth floor roof terrace in central London.

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Garden Art

by Abigail Willis

Entering the garden of 5 St Regis Close is like stepping into Narnia.True there is no snow (at least not on this broiling June day), and nor are there any fauns, but the comparison is nonetheless apt: one minute you are in suburban Muswell Hill, the next in an enchanted realm, where creativity, imagination and joie de vivre reign supreme.

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Award-winning wildlife garden

by Abigail Willis

When Thierry Suzanne moved in to his house in Forest Gate in 2007, his first priority was to create an alfresco wining and dining area in the back garden, along with a herb garden and veg patch. But, this done, it wasn’t long before a more adventurous plan began to seed itself in his mind. Seven years down the line, that germ has blossomed into a full-on wildlife garden that is as much a haven for birds, invertebrates and amphibians as it is for its human custodians. And it’s not just the local fauna that appreciate Thierry’s efforts – the garden won Best Small Residential Garden in the RHS/Wildlife Trust’s 2012 Big Wildlife Garden competition. Over a cup of coffee and a bowl of blueberries, served in his newly constructed green-roofed gazebo, Thierry explained the journey he and his garden have been on.

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Painting with plants

by Abigail Willis

As an award-winning botanical artist, Rosemary Lindsay is used to working up close and personal with plants and she brings the same forensic attention to detail to her garden in Herne Hill. At 150 x 40 feet it’s a bigger canvas than her watercolours but one that equally reflects her design flair and affinity with plants.

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The High Line: New York

by Drucilla James

People frequently make reference to the New York High Line and the possibility of replicating it in other cities. But what is the High Line really like? Annik La Farge’s book ‘On the High Line’ is a sumptuously illustrated walk through the park, interwoven with reflections, philosophical, scientific and aesthetic, which illuminate the history, nature and purpose of this unique public space.

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The Garden Bridge

by Tom Moggach

London boasts no new, iconic, creative urban garden such as the High Line in New York or Promenade Plantée in Paris. But hope comes in the shape of The Garden Bridge, a £150 million “floating paradise garden” across The Thames.

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Zen Garden in Acton

by Abigail Willis

Year-round interest is the Holy Grail for many a gardener but it’s easier said than done – rare is the garden that dazzles in December.It’s not however an issue at 55 Carbery Avenue, where the garden manages to look good regardless of the season, weather or even time of day.