Pollinators, Habitat and Cut Flowers. That was the aim of ‘The Feast Garden’ Designed by Amber Hine of Hine Garden Design LTD for the Belvoir Castle Flower and Garden Show 2020, the only garden show so far this year which has contained show gardens.
Winning two awards in her first show, Best in Show and Professionals Choice, it is a show garden border bursting with plant choices and design features to inspire.
The garden, remaining true to its name, was designed to provide a feast of wildlife forage, from pollen and nectar, nesting material, water and even an enticing habitat. In addition, it provides a plethora of cutting material allowing the garden to be enjoyed from the comfort of a roaring fire whilst sheltering from those cooling Autumn days.
The central log wall in the border was built not only to benefit wildlife and provide an opportunity for shade planting, but also to reflect the Historic site of Belvoir Castle, a stately home in the English county of Leicestershire that overlooks the Vale of Belvoir. The wall is comprised with logs reflecting the traditional use and sustainable process of coppicing and forestry management still practised on the estate today. The wall also serves to provide a beautiful backdrop to the movement of grasses and taller flowering stems, allowing for them to be fully appreciated.
The planting in the garden is a rich mixture of tonal grasses allowing for both texture in a vase and nesting material for wildlife. Herbaceous perennials and annual plants provide successive blooms for cutting and food for pollinators.
The garden show, originally set to be in July, was moved to September due to issues surrounding Covid-19. However, this allowed for the use of some beautiful autumn tones in the planting that are not usually on display in the traditional show season. The stunning orange and lime tones of the grass Anemanthele lessoniana became a backdrop to the striking purple spires of Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’ whilst melding with the rich hues of the aptly named Helenium autumnale ‘Short and Sassy’. Crocosmia × crocosmiiflora ‘Emily Mckenzie’ brings a fire to the planting and in the low autumn light glows as if ablaze amongst the flower heads of Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Hameln’. The young fronds of the fern Dryopteris erythrosora provide shelter, reduce evaporation increasing humidity for wildlife whilst also offering cutting material to provide intricate foliage for floral arrangements. They are a bronzy dream melding into the timber and offset against its older green foliage, in turn this is mirrored in a similar characteristic of the Euphorbia × martinii with the fringes of reds on its new foliage. Verbena, Gaura, Fennel and the tall stems of Molinia caerulea subsp. arundinacea ‘Transparent’ waft together above the lower planting casting playful shadows on the wall and drawing the eye to the Belvoir Castle setting.
Amber Hine commenting on the inspiration behind her design said: “The change in date for the show presented a real opportunity to include some rich delicious Autumn tones and with the show being set in the glorious and beautiful Belvoir Estate I had to reflect and celebrate some of that location in the design, which is where the use of a log wall came in.”
Hine added: “The many different flower shapes and successive blooms in this design will encourage a wide range of wildlife to visit. Bringing flower stems into your home is an opportunity to do some early dead-heading allowing you to enjoy a beautiful flower arrangement, but also encouraging further blooms in the garden. It’s a win win.”
The garden was awarded ‘The Duchess of Rutland’s Show Garden Award’ for best in show as judged and presented by RHS judges Rosy Hardy and Martin Fish, and the ‘Professionals Choice Award’ chosen and awarded by David Domoney on Sunday 6thth September 2020.
Agastache ‘Blue Boa’
Astrantia major ‘Shaggy’
Calendula officinalis ‘Strawberry Blonde’
Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Purity’
Crocosmia × crocosmiiflora ‘Emily Mckenzie’
Euphorbia × martinii
Foeniculum vulgare ‘Purpureum’
Gaura lindheimeri ‘The Bride’
Helenium autumnale ‘Short and Sassy’
Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Hameln’
Molinia caerulea subsp. arundinacea ‘Transparent’
Molinia caerulea subsp. caerulea ‘Edith Dudszus’
Rudbeckia hirta ‘Sahara’
Salvia ‘Love And Wishes’
Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’
Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna Pink’
Tricyrtis formosana ‘Purple Beauty’
About the designer.
Amber is a Garden Designer based in Bedfordshire working for her own studio Hine Garden Design Ltd creating gardens across the UK. Amber has a keen interest and passion for wildlife and conservation, and gives talks on the subject of wildlife in the garden amongst others. Formally of the theatre industry Amber brings drama, innovation and a keen design eye to all her work.
All the images provided are provided by and are copywrite of Amber Hine of Hine Garden Design LTD. They are for use with credits and approval. Further images, formats and sizes are available upon request.
Original Date: 18-19th July 2020
Actual Date: 5-6th September 2020
Name: Amber Hine
Company Name: Hine Garden Design Ltd
Telephone: +44 (0) 7988 512 947