Hartley Magazine

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Gardens ‘can create certain moods’

Gardens can be styled in a wide range of highly creative ways, many of which can be tailored to recreate certain moods.

For example, designer Jo Thompson's main garden for the UK Royal Horticultural Society's Chelsea show offers a nostalgic feel with a contemporary twist.

She is a highly acclaimed gardener, having won a silver medal at the Gardening World Cup in Japan in 2011, the Best Rural Garden prize at the New Homes and Gardens Awards the same year and a gold medal and the Best Urban Garden prize at Chelsea in 2010.

The ability of a green space to have a positive impact on an individual's mood is well documented.

Sir Richard Thompson, president of the Royal College of Physicians in Britain, recently told national newspaper the Independent he believes doctors should start prescribing a session outdoors to treat depression, rather than a course of drugs.

He claimed this would go down very well as the activity holds a near-universal appeal that is accessible to everyone, whereas prescriptions can be prohibitively expensive.

The expert also noted that it is cheaper than going to be the gym – and can offer just as much of a physical workout – suggesting this would have a favourable impact on an individual's psychological wellbeing too.

Ms Thompson claimed she created the feel of her Chelsea garden space by drawing on her experiences of travelling with her young children on holiday last year.

A color palette of pink and cream planting contributes to this, using irises, roses, peonies and sandstone paths, as well as timber walkways running with cooling water for feet and bottles, to convey the delights of a vacation.

"It's in our nature to want to travel and take our creature comforts with us, whether we are away for a day's trip to a favorite garden or spending a week or two exploring," she commented.

As it takes place in the UK, there are also nods to the country's past in the form of a feminised flag patchwork hammock and picnic bench seat cushions.

These ideas could easily be adapted by green-fingered individuals who wish to go for a similar look outside their own home.

Lawrence Bate, director of marketing for the Caravan Club – which is sponsoring the garden – praised Ms Thompson's work.

"The Club is delighted to be working with Jo Thompson, her design is the perfect balance between a reflection of a bygone era and contemporary British planting," he commented.

"Her garden honors traditional planting, such as the sort of flowers you would find in the hedgerow while out walking, yet demonstrates the latest in garden design that is achievable in the home," Mr Bate concluded.