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