News from around the world

British garden designer Dan Pearson has won this year’s top award at the Chelsea Garden Show – read some comments and see some photos here. The Daily Telegraph lists its Top 10 Trends from Chelsea, while the Guardian offers Six Things we Learned. See a gallery of photos from Chelsea here.

A New Zealand connection at Chelsea this year was the Cloudy Bay garden. “The garden echoes the terroir of the Marlborough region … with deep red and fresh white flowers representing Cloudy Bay’s signature wines, pinot noir and sauvignon blanc,” writes Rona Wheeldon on her blog (see some pictures of the garden too). “The two wines are also represented in the two different hard landscaping areas…the rusticness and earthyness of the oak reflecting the red wine and the clear crispness of the concrete reflecting the white.”

A virtual visit to Chelsea wouldn’t be complete without a read of Tim Richardson’s thoughts, always to the point and with plenty of insider gossip. I’m amazed he had nothing to say about the synchronised swimmers!

Britain seems captivated by the idea of ‘wild swimming’, the latest is a new public, outdoor swimming ‘pond’ at King’s Cross in London. Christopher Woodward has already taken the plunge. “Outdoor swimming makes you sensitive to the health of water, as I can testify, having swum from Oxford to London over eight days last September,” he writes. “At Clifton Hampden it’s as sweet smelling as a Georgian pastoral, but at Hampton Court it’s so dirty that for a fortnight I lost all sense of taste.”

Kathleen Inman has a collection of British double-flowered plants – including double-flowered gorse! In New Zealand gorse is a pest plant so we sometimes forget that elsewhere it’s a prized plant. A parks officer once told me that gorse was a perfect ‘nursery plant’ for natives as it protects them while they’re small, while beekeepers like gorse because it has such strong pollen and flowers through the winter when there isn’t much else around in the way of food plants. The website of Plant Heritage National Collections (UK).

America’s Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD) has announced its award winners for 2015, and Garden Drum’s Catherine Stewart profiles three of the Gold winners in this post. “APLD’s award winning designers each year feature gardens and landscapes that are simply stunning, filled with clever problem solving, beautiful planting, well-chosen hardscape elements and both sustainable and decorative ideas that you can use in your own garden,” Catherine says.

Adrian Gray had a cameo role recently on the new series of Grand Designs showing on TV3 (Thursdays) – a couple building a flash, but small, place on an eroding cliff on the Welsh coast. Adrian was creating a lawn sculpture for them, by balancing one rock on another on the tiniest of contact points. If you didn’t see it, pop on over to his website and have a look (there are short videos too). The one he did for Grand Designs was bolted because of the wind on the top of the cliff, but generally they are simply balanced.

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