RHS Silver Medal for Touch Landscapes at BBC Gardeners’ World Live

Show visitors enjoying The Teacup Garden
Show visitors enjoying The Teacup Garden

Designed by Georgina Chahed of Touch Landscapes, The Teacup Garden has been awarded a silver medal at BBC Gardeners’ World Live.

Inspired by the theme the ‘Industrial Heritage of the West Midlands’, in her first Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) display Georgina has delivered a breath-taking subtropical border. The Teacup Garden contains a sleek contemporary water feature set on sandstone, enveloped by bold architectural foliage and vibrant blooms.

Georgina Chahed showing her RHS award
Georgina Chahed showing her RHS award

On receiving her prestigious RHS medal, Georgina enthused: “All the advance planning and minute attention to detail has really paid off; the garden looks beautiful and the award is the icing on the cake. I’d like to express my gratitude to our volunteers, suppliers and everyone who has supported my journey along the way.”

Georgina wanted to convey a sense of excitement in the border and show that even with a small space, a lot can be achieved. The border takes inspiration from the rich heritage of Wedgwood and celebrates the legacy of the master potters who made their name in the West Midlands.

Exotic gardens typically look their best in late summer so the challenge was to source plants which peak in June, whilst also complementing the Jasperware inspired blue and white colour scheme. The plant list comprises a winning combination of hardy and tender exotics, and familiar garden favourites suited to the same conditions, such as ferns, heucheras and hostas.

Eclectic planting: ferns, heucheras and hostas on The Teacup Garden
Eclectic planting: ferns, heucheras and hostas on The Teacup Garden

To find out more about Touch Landscapes’ garden and landscape design services telephone: 07872 590303 email: info@touchlandscapes.com or visit: www.touchlandscapes.com

June 18, 2015

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Let’s do this thing

Less than one week until the build commences for BBC Gardeners’ World Live, Touch Landscapes’ principle designer Georgina Chahed gives a progress report on The Teacup Garden…

The finishing line is in sight. Give or take one or two niggles, I’m feeling upbeat about our show border so I prepared this blog to fill you in on what’s been happening over the past few weeks.

Queens of the Stone Age
The stone circle has arrived and I’m happy to report that it’s a really handsome sandstone! The central paver is vast and couldn’t be lifted, so we placed a thin track of packaging across the floor and gingerly rolled it over the fibre pieces and into the studio.

Nursery Stories
Following the trip to our main nursery, I spent some time analysing the plant composition again. It’s easy to panic at this stage and randomly add in extra plants that look nice, without paying attention to what they add horticulturally. With this in mind, I’ve resolved to focus more on colour and pay extra attention to my middle tier of plants. With these subtle amendments I feel we’ve moved a step closer to having a truly winning plant combination.

Our  plant leaflet
Our brand spanking new plant leaflet!

The latest development, our show leaflet, is now ready. Here’s a sneak preview, pictured above. Now the search is on to find the perfect mulch…

BBC Gardeners’ World Live is taking place at the National Exhibition Centre from 11-14 June 2015 and I very much look forward to meeting you at our Teacup Garden.If you haven’t already booked your tickets, then now’s your chance. Horticultural serenity is just a click away…

June 1, 2015

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Subtropical drama in a teacup unveiled by newcomer at BBC Gardeners’ World Live

BBCGWL 2015 Visual 4
The Teacup Garden

Newcomer to the world of garden design, Georgina Chahed will be realising her vision of a subtropical border entitled ‘The Teacup Garden’ at BBC Gardeners’ World Live (11-14 June 2015). Georgina Chahed set up her practice Touch Landscapes in December 2013 and the Teacup Garden will be her first Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) display.

Beating off competition from rivals, the design has been given the green light by show organisers, the RHS. Working to the category theme, the ‘Industrial Heritage of the West Midlands’, the design takes inspiration from the rich heritage of Wedgwood. Garden designer Georgina Chahed commented: “I wanted to bring a sense of excitement to my border and celebrate the legacy of the master potters who made their name in the West Midlands.

Centring around a teacup water feature and stone saucer, a distinctive blue and white colourway has been used, giving a nod to Josiah Wedgwood’s original Jasperware ceramic tea sets. Capitalising on this year’s trend for tropical plants, a blend of lush and subtropical plants will be used to soften the hard landscaping.

Georgina Chahed continued: “With exotic tea growing regions in mind, I will predominantly be using plants suited to slightly moist, fertile soils. By selecting the right plants and ones that suit a garden’s conditions and soil type, a tropical border can be incorporated into many UK gardens.”

Grasses and ferns will intermingle to fill the space, punctuated by vibrant purple and orange flowers, including hardy groundcover favourite Geranium ‘Rozanne’ (‘Gerwat’) and the majestic Canna ‘Phasion’ with its dazzling striped leaves. The evergreen variegated giant reed Arundo donax versicolor will lend movement and height to the space. Striking Musa basjoo and Trachycarpus fortunei specimen trees promise to add impact and structure to the border, elevating the planting to a whole new level.

Now in its 23rd year, BBC Gardeners’ World Live, held at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, is the largest lifestyle event in the UK, attracting around 100,000 visitors in June every year.

March 16, 2015

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Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2014 Blog

Alexandra Froggatt's Garden of Solitude
Alexandra Froggatt’s Garden of Solitude

Set against the magnificent backdrop of the palace to which it owes its name, the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show celebrates gardening on a majestic scale. Having completed her own tour of the show, here’s Georgina’s round up of highlights…

Top designers such as Andy Sturgeon and Cleve West cut their teeth at this event many years ago, and today it continues to nurture some of the UK’s most talented up and coming designers. With competitors showcasing conceptual gardens, show gardens, summer gardens, and designs restricted to specific budgets; there was something to inspire everyone this year, particularly those of us with small spaces.

Some of the gardens which attracted the most attention were the bijou plots which stood cheek by jowl along the Ditton Avenue strip. Young designer Alexandra Froggatt’s ‘Garden of Solitude’ punctuated the end of this grand allée.

Pocket parks
Alexandra Froggatt won the Your Garden, Your Budget category with her blissful space. My favourite design of the show, it’s washed out wooden decking, vertical water drops and angular sculptural features culminated in a highly distinctive design. Alexandra’s inspiration stemmed from the colour, translucency and shape of crystals. There were no predictable orange and blue plant combinations here (Is it just me, or has the achillea/eryngium combo become a bit too ubiquitous lately?). Instead, nectar rich white and muted pastel blooms were combined with ferns and grasses and the soothing sound of running water.

Where other designers had used black dye to colour the water in their gardens to give the illusion of a bottomless pool, Alexandra’s jets and pool were filled with refreshingly clear water, inviting you to reach out and make a splash of your own.

Of course for most owners of small gardens, low maintenance, privacy and screening is a must when deciding what they want in their outdoor space, and these were the guiding principles behind Chew Valley Trees’ ‘Green is the Colour’ garden. If like me you feel comforted by the shelter and protection of a natural woodland environment, you would have loved this garden. Inspired by the magical forests of eastern Canada, the spirit of this landscape was captured to create a secluded place of reflection. The planting scheme combined restful shades of green foliage, while densely planted evergreen trees formed a textural backdrop to the garden.

Canada wasn’t the only country horticulturalists channelled for ideas. Using his native Australia for inspiration, Jim Fogarty’s ‘Essence of Australia’ garden secured him the top award this year – best show garden.

Aussie rules
If you prefer to walk on the wild side, then Essence of Australia would have really rocked your world. This laid back haven for tropical garden lovers celebrated Aussie plants and contemporary design. Native Australian plants that can be grown in the UK delivered a touch of the exotic, whilst the red sands, curved billabong and winding Rainbow Serpent deck lifted the lid on a whole new world in landscape design.

Gardens aside, there was also the usual vast selection of stalls and interactive installations on offer at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. In short, visitors were in for a treat.

What was your favourite garden at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show this year? Feel free to share your views by leaving a comment.

July 21, 2014

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