by Zoe Levey

One of the most enchanting gardens seen at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show and a thoroughly deserving Gold Medal winner, the Nurture Landscapes Garden was designed by Sarah Price, in collaboration with Benton End and the Garden Museum, with planting supplied by Crocus UK.

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In creating this incredible garden, Sarah was inspired by British contemporary artist and plantsman Sir Cedric Morris and the plants he collected in the garden of his 16th Century home, Benton End in Suffolk. Sarah’s artistic composition gives the effect of stepping into a painting. You find yourself surrounded by gentle shades of purples and golds, woven together to enthralling effect.  Taking inspiration from Sir Cedric, who was renowned for breeding irises (many of which he named after his friends), the garden gently layers extraordinarily beautiful flowers, creating an enthralling vista wherever you lay your eyes. Benton iris’ sword-like leaves contrast with looser, meadow-like planting and scrub. These are framed by mature trees, dead wood and saplings which comment on the environmentally beneficial succession of woody plants within a mature garden. Climbers growing up and over supports frame pictorial-like compositions, whilst also creating seclusion and intrigue. Delicate roses are placed against a soft pink wall, vintage planters are each individually planted with succulents in complimentary shades of grey-green tinged with soft pinks and peach, and the sandy path weaves its way to a secluded seating area where you can fully immerse yourself in this beauty. It is a delight for all the senses, and a garden which will be talked about in years to come as one of Chelsea’s finest.

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Plants

Sarah used a selection of irises and plants inspired by those at Benton End including:

Iris ‘Benton Olive’
Iris ‘Benton Lorna’ unfurling
Marrubium supinum x Ballota hirsuta
Aeoniums. Dark & sculptural

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All of the materials and plants from the garden will be relocated to Benton End House and Garden Trust in Hadleigh, where Morris originally lived and is now managed by The Garden Museum. The low carbon garden incorporated traditional techniques that were found in Morris’ home, and reinterpreted them for contemporary use, with locally sourced, sustainable materials.

The Nurture Landscapes Garden by Sarah Price supported by Benton End and the Garden Museum, with planting by Crocus UK.

@sarahpricelandscapes

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