This year, we have commissioned award-winning Sarah Price as our garden designer.
The design for the 2018 M&G Garden is a romanticised haven which expands on an idea that a wall, tree and seat can create a quiet and intimate 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.
Colour is unexpected and dazzling. The use of intricate, layered planting creates an almost pointillist vision when viewed from afar. A clashing cacophony of deep pinks, lilacs and yellow flowers are held together by swards of grasses. Gravel scree plantings of Asphodelus, Dianthus and delicate poppies interweave informal pathways surrounded by low tapestries of ground hugging, scented herbs and the silvery tones of sub shrubs.
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.