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A Quiet Garden at the Malvern Spring Festival 2014

The Quiet Garden Trust participated in an RHS Show for the first time at Malvern Spring Festival in 2014.

The garden was designed to encourage spiritual refreshment by stilling the mind. The approach to the heart of the garden can take two forms – a direct circular route or a route following the Meditation / Prayer Path along the line of cobbles set into the gravel. The turns in the meditation path require concentration and thus divert attention from daily worries. The resting stone is a place to stop and re-connect with the natural world. It is a sanctuary, a place of rest and safety enclosed at the back by strong stone pillars and tall planting.

The circular nature of the garden design constantly returns the eye to the centre and away from the outside world. The colour and height of the planting reflects this theme. The movement in the water gives the mind something to focus on and allows persistent worrying thoughts to become more distant. As the visitor makes their way out of the garden, they prepare to re-enter the world, refreshed and rested.

See also our newsletter, Quiet Places 36 – July 2014

The Designers of the garden

The garden was designed collaboratively by three designers with connections to The Quiet Garden Trust.  The Trust is most grateful for their generosity in giving their time and talents so freely to this project.

Angie Turner (www.angieturnerdesigns.co.uk) has won awards for her Show Gardens, and brings ethical and environmental considerations into her garden designs for individuals and community groups.  She also runs courses for adults and children.

Kristina Fitzsimmons (www.kristinafitzsimmons.co.uk) has a special interest in the therapeutic value of gardens.  She has made a particular study of the ways in which the design of the garden can help the visitor to slow down and connect with the natural world.

Patrick Swan (www.patrickswan.co.uk)  is a highly qualified and experienced horticulturalist currently head gardener at Holland House, Pershore.  This practical expertise ensures that garden management and longevity are key components of his garden designs.

Plant list for A Quiet Garden

The planting scheme was chosen to create a peaceful atmosphere.  Shade loving plants such as foxgloves and ferns were planted in the shade of the wall and hedge and Viburnum peep around the corner.  The multistemmed silver birch added height and the opportunity for soft coloured underplanting. The lilacs offered scent and many of the smaller perenials had open flowers favoured by bees and insects.

Walking the labyrinth path or sitting on the back seat there was the opportunity to allow the peace of the garden, the gentle sound of the water to sooth and refresh. The beauty of individual flowers such as the peony and iris encourage a stillness and attentiveness.

Plants in the garden include:

Trees, shrubs and hedges:

Betula pendula
Cornus alternifolia
‘Argentea’
Euonmous jap. ‘Bravo’
Paeonia suff. ’ Koukijishi’ (pink)
Paeonia suff. ’Shimadijin’ (purple)
Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Green Elf’
Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Abbotsbury Gold’
Prunus cerasifera ‘Pissardi’
Syringa vul. ‘Madame Lemoine’
Thuja  plicata ‘Gelderland’
Viburnum op. ‘Roseum’

Perennials

Ajuga pyramidalis ‘Metallica Crispa’
Ajuga reptans ‘Black Scallop’
Alchemilla alpine
Allium ursinum
Asplenium scolopendrium
Camassia leichtinii ‘
Caerulea’
Camassia quamash
Digitalis p
. ‘Suttons Giant Primrose’
Geranium pyrenaicum ‘Bill Wallis’
Hosta fortunei ‘Aureomarginata’
Iris germanica ‘Immortality’
Persicaria bistorta ‘Superba’
Polystichum aculeatum
Smilacena racemosum
Thalictrum rochbruneanum
Thymus ‘
Jekka’
Valeriana pyrenaica
Viola comuta
‘Victoria’s Blush’

Pond plants

Equisetum hyemale ‘Affine’ (Barred horsetail)

The Quiet Garden Trust is grateful to Angie, Kristina and Patrick for volunteering for this project and to the volunteers connected with Quiet Gardens who helped with the planting, we are also grateful to our generous sponsors:

for the hard landscaping materials Stonemarket www.stonemarket.co.uk/

for the water feature and arches JW and AJ Barrett Craftsmen in Metal  www.artmetal.co.uk

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