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The Sunday Telegraph - Sunday - - Gardening - SLATE AND SUB­TLE TEX­TURES

Sub­tle colours and tex­tures abound in this con­tem­po­rary back gar­den de­signed by Chelsea Flower Show Gold Medal win­ner Andy Stur­geon. Cre­ated for the Royal Hor­ti­cul­tural So­ci­ety’s Gar­den at Wis­ley in Sur­rey, it is one of a se­ries com­mis­sioned with the needs and de­sires of to­day’s home own­ers in mind. The de­sign is un­com­pro­mis­ingly mod­ern, but what makes it work is the un­der­ly­ing grid, with all the hard lines ar­ranged per­pen­dic­u­lar to one an­other: the square stone “is­lands” on which the four colum­nar trees (1) stand, the shal­low canal of wa­ter, the wooden jetty that acts as a bridge, and the strik­ing bench (2) made from an oak sleeper with stacks of slate paving as sup­ports. The grace­ful arcs of grasses and other plants in the bor­ders pro­vide coun­ter­act­ing curves and move­ment, with grasses (4) such as Stipa tenuis­sima, Stipa arun­d­i­nacea and cala­m­a­grostis fea­tur­ing in abun­dance, and sil­very Astelia chatham­ica pick­ing up on the tones of the pale blue slate paving (3). An ab­stract re­lief on the back wall is also oak and slate. Þwww. andys­tur­geon.com; RHS Gar­den Wis­ley, Wok­ing, Guild­ford, GU23 6QB (0845 260 9000; www.rhs.org.uk).

1 CARPI­NUS BE­TU­LUS

Fasti­giate horn­beams, bred to grow in an el­e­gant, colum­nar or upright shape, grow well even on com­pacted clay soils. The va­ri­ety used here Carpi­nus be­tu­lus fasti­giata ‘Frans Fon­taine’, was orig­i­nally found grow­ing on a street in Hol­land and

Sun­day Tele­graph S. arun­d­i­nacea Carex

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