Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Malvern Spring Festival Garden

We were awarded a Gold Medal and were recipients of the RHS’s first Best Construction Award

‘Gardening amidst Ruins’ explores a lesser known but compellingly imaginative facet of Brown’s garden legacy: our aim was to create an evocation of one of his aviary/menagerie gardens. Brown had a penchant for gardening in ruins - for saving, maintaining and revitalising fragments of mediaeval moats and dilapidated ramparts with a view to creating new gardens within them. Sadly, none of these gardens survives; they do, however, come down to us through archaeological evidence. We know that they were, like so many of his innovations, whimsical and ingenious: some were planted with roses plunged in partially submerged pots and set out, as trees in an avenue, in pairs along the margins of serpentine gravel walks, whilst others were animated with exotic birds which darted and strutted under delicately netted tents supported by rustic posts. Our garden aspired to breathe life into these vanished gardens, and attempted to convey the playfulness of a forgotten aspect of eighteenth-century English gardening.