'Mind Trap' RHS Chelsea 2017 wins GOLD

MIND TRAP Fresh Garden for RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017, Site FR82 This garden is a physical manifestation of my personal experience of suffering from and living with depression. It's purpose is to help those that suffer in similar ways to be assured that they are not alone in their own personal struggles. It also endeavours to explain to others that have no personal experience of suffering what it may feel like, by way of a physical tangible living garden with the use of symbolism and creating an atmosphere. https://www.rhs.org.uk/shows-events/rhs-chelsea-flower-show/Gardens/2017/mind-trap A huge thank you to everyone involved. Without you, the garden would have remained an idea on paper.

Large Country Garden

The owners of this one acre garden in County Antrim didn't want to stare out at just a large lawn any longer.  Providing outdoor space for them to sit and relax, as well as an area to have a BBQ were the main priorities.  Increased visual interest and to encourage wildlife ranked high on the agenda also.  They were both really enthusiastic I suggested putting in a pond with waterfall for its ability to attract wildlife as well as being a great focal point. 

The large lawn was made much smaller with the large pond taking centre stage, which immediately increased the visual interest and reduced the maintenance.  Disguising the existing greenhouse without moving and rebuilding it was very important as it was currently the most distinctive feature in the whole garden.  By putting the pond in in full view of the house and installing lighting the garden was able to come alive in the evening. 

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This is the view of the house from what is now the large vegetable area. The rest of the back garden all looked the same as this.

Looking back across the large pond towards the new patio area it is clear that the garden feels much more alive and welcoming now.

The chunky wooden platform is cantalevered out over the pond which means there is no need to have a post in the water.

The same timber that was used in the decked area has been used to create this informal seating area and low coffee style table.

The slate cladding on the face of the steps has been selected purposely to marry in with the slate mulch in the pathways.

Limestone flags form the very broad steps down into the garden from the conservatory as well as the path beyond.

The garden matures

The garden maturing

Limestone flags and plum slate make up this informal path leading from the conservatory into the garden. They are a great way to create a softer looking but solid path.

Limestone flags and plum slate path leading to the chunky wooden decked area cantilevered over the pond. .

The pond reflects so much light around the rest of the garden and provides a great habitat for wildlife. The pond is approximately 1.5 m deep in the middle which means there is plenty of room for the fish and different types of aquatic plant life.

One of the several raised beds that were built. By raising the beds it means that they are much more easily managed and maintained.