This year, we have commissioned award-winning Sarah Price as our garden designer.
The design for the 2018 M&G Garden is an imagined sanctuary which expands on an idea that a wall, tree and seat can create an intimate, sheltered and beautiful place of repose. Taking inspiration from the Mediterranean, the garden will celebrate the beauty and simplicity of the region’s unique landscape through the use of modest and sustainable raw materials and a vibrant planting palette.
To bring this story to life, Sarah will use Mediterranean flora and raw materials dug directly out of the earth – red aggregates, clay and terracotta – to provide a sense of warmth and richness. Textured, rammed earth walls and stacked tiles will frame the spaces, creating contrast and intrigue. The unfolding views offer tantalising glimpses of twisted wisteria stems, graceful Lagerstroemia trees (Crepe Myrtle), scented thyme carpets and in the heart of the garden, the rugged form of two mature pomegranate trees.
This is a garden of contrasts: colour is subtle, but also unexpected and dazzling; subshrubs with foliage that varies from glaucous to chartreuse; a clashing cacophony of scarlet, pink, lilac and yellow flowers are held together by grassy swathes. The garden’s composition pivots around the branching forms of Pomegranate trees. Their rugged forms command space and attention and are reflected in the glassy surface of the large pool. Planting includes tapestries of ground hugging scented herbs punctuated with taller, wispy, diaphanous flowers. Many drought tolerant plans are included which are perfectly suited to our warming climate.
Sarah Price, garden designer says:
“I am delighted to be working with M&G Investments and Crocus to bring this garden to life. Designing for M&G has been a hugely enjoyable experience and I will be working with an exceptional team to realise our ambitious ideas. The garden will be a romanticised haven that will celebrate the expressive and sensual language of colour and texture, light and shadow. I will be experimenting with an incredibly tactile palette of materials and an exciting range of plants, all of which originate from Mediterranean climates. The garden will be entirely imaginary; it’s a space that I would love to have for myself.”
Sarah was the co-designer of the 2012 Gardens at the Olympic Park in east London and planting consultant for the post-Games legacy design. Sarah designed the Daily Telegraph Garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2012 which was awarded a gold medal. Her previous gardens at RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2007 and 2008 were awarded silver medals and in 2006 she won a gold medal at the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show. This year Sarah will be working with Crocus, winners of 25 Gold Medals at Chelsea and 9 Best in Show awards in the last 12 years.