Hartley Magazine

All the latest news, hints, tips and advice from our experts

Gardeners ‘can be inspired by music’

The potential for sources of inspiration for gardeners considering a renovation of their green space is almost unlimited.

Individuals have claimed to have been inspired by a wide range of disparate things over the years – and nowhere is this better demonstrated than at flower shows.

Indeed, some of the entries for the forthcoming 2012 Flower Show Tatton Park – which is set to be held from July 18th to the 22nd and is hosted by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) across the pond in the UK – are based on the world of music.

Finalist for last year's RHS Young Designer of the Year competition Alexandra Froggatt has submitted an entry entitled Air on a Green String. This is based on the various stringed instruments that feature in a standard orchestra. In terms of design, the space mimics Italian styles, in an homage to the first true violin, which emerged from Italy in the 16th century.

The soft and beautiful music of the violin is represented by a color palette of velvety red, pink and ivory. Fine foliage and delicate flowers also contribute to this look, while box has been trained into the shape of the instrument's f-hole.

Gardeners who wish to recreate this could find their choices are particularly on trend, as in a recent article for the Daily Telegraph, professional gardener and author of Keeping a Few Hens in Your Garden Francine Raymond recently claimed that topiary is coming back in fashion.

"Topiary offers the opportunity to express ourselves in the garden, create our own sculptures and avoid the many pitfalls that lie in wait among the plethora of garden features and statuary on the market," Ms Raymond explained. She added that it is particularly useful for giving a good garden a backbone – and a useful basis for an overall structure.

Another entry into the Tatton park show has been designed Brendan Vaughan and Leon Davis is inspired by the science of stringed instruments. Concentric circles radiate outwards from undulating lawns in order to represent sound waves. Steel wires are connected to an archway in order to provide a physical description of how sound is created, while grass and purple flowers is arranged in such a way that is hoped to suggest the dancing notes of strings.

A design from Sheena Seeks and is named Untie the Wind. It takes its moniker from Shakespeare's Macbeth and has been more directly inspired by wind instruments.

A pipe and a path run through the centre of the space, which gives the visitor a sensation akin to the journey of air passing through a wind instrument.

The secondary themes of these two gardens – science and literature – have also been used to inspire the creation of a garden.

Tomaz Bavdez's Humko Garden – which he entered into the Chelsea Flower Show was based on ideas found in the novel The Soft Machine by William Burroughs – the controversial author more famous for Naked Lunch.

The title of the book is a metaphor for the human body and the garden adapts this by making a person literally central to its ecosystem. An exercise bike is used to recycle waste water via filtering units.

"We hope that these music gardens will challenge and inspire visitors to think differently about their gardens and show that you can achieve fantastic design by combining two passions," commented show manager for the event Kris Hulewicz.

"The RHS Flower Show Tatton Park is known for its creative and fun approach to garden design," she continued, adding: "We want to encourage music lovers, who might never have gardened before, to be creative in their own outside spaces."