Whether or not you managed to head to London to experience the delights of the Royal Horticulturalist Society Chelsea Flower Show, it’s likely you saw some evidence of the blooming lovely displays in the media. And we were thrilled to hear that one of the gold award winning gardens was actually inspired by an oak forest.

The M&G Garden, designed by Cleve West, was inspired by a nostalgia for an ancient oak forest near Porlock Hill. The landscape made such an impression on his teenage self that he chose to pay homage to the beauty of this enchanting woodland in Exmoor National Park.

And if you’re wondering how West managed to replicate the essence of nature, then his answer is simple – he didn’t. “What I wanted to explore is a contemporary space that acknowledges and reinterprets this memory within a contrived, garden context,” he explained.

A stone and gravel path leads visitors past woodland plants, and the rough stone trail near the entrance, which then transforms into a smooth path, is a metaphor for West’s own forays into garden design, where he started out unsure but grew in confidence.

There are also stunted oaks and rocks at the beginning of the path, that then lead onto a sunken terrace and a pool, and an oak boundary frames the garden. We love the fact that this overarching oak theme can be seen to represent strength, growth and longevity – which mirror the values of the sponsor. Any garden that holds so much respect for oak is a winner in our eyes!


Lead image from www.rhs.org.uk. Quote from Telegraph