RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2014
We visit the RHS Chelsea Flower Show every year and this year did not disappoint…there are always surprising new plants and design ideas and it was good to see the main avenue being made more accessible for new and up and coming designers this year.
Winner of the Artisan Garden Award
A highlight of the 2014 show, considering our love for Japanese Acers, was Togenkyo – A Paradise on Earth, designed by Ishihara Kazuyuki which won the Gold Medal award for Best Artisan Garden. Ishihara Kazuyuki has been exhibiting at Chelsea for a decade now and this is the second year running to win gold!
This year’s garden has been inspired by the fable of Togenkyo, a place of beautiful scenery that can help people to forget their troubles and strife, but that once visited cannot be revisited.
In the words of Ishihara Kazuyuki, the inspiration for creating this beautiful Japanese garden came from the story his father used to tell him as a little boy growing up in Nagasaki and he used to imagine how beautiful it must have been before the atomic bomb.
This garden – Togenkyo – A Paradise on Earth – is how he imagined it might have been.
The garden actually occupies a very small area and in its construction, Ishihara Kazuyuki has created separate rooms, one for the trees and one for the mosses, in fact there is so much detail in this small garden it gives the impression of seeming much larger than it actually is.
The shape and colour of the acers (Japanese maples) are a key feature of his design – deep reds, vibrant greens and yellows, create a colourful yet soft atmosphere. Most challenging was the water feature which included a Japanese water wheel and small waterfall (the sound and presence of running water is always key in a Japanese garden) .
One aspect of this garden which made such an impact is the very beautiful use of pin cushion mosses, they truly give the garden an other-worldly dimension…