After its debut at the RHS's London Plant and Design Show this week, I thought it time to dust down the artist's impression of our garden (more details of the brilliant Richard Lee's work can be found here) and pin it up on my blog for the world to see. And so here it is. Be gentle with me, this is nerve racking.
The garden has been inspired by many things, but has been designed to embrace and reflect the energetic work of the fabulous British Heart Foundation in their 50th year. I hope the garden catches peoples attention and does as much as it can to raise the profile of their life-changing anniversary campaign 'Mending Broken Hearts'.
In the BHF's own words "At the moment, there's no cure for a broken heart. Once your heart muscle is damaged by a heart attack, it can never fully recover. But there is hope. We need to spend £50 million to fund groundbreaking research that could begin to literally 'mend broken hearts' in as little as ten years time." You'll find more information on the wonderful appeal, and ways you can support it here.
The garden, particularly its arches have been inspired by the bold, colourful work of a piece created for the Mending Broken Hearts campaign by one of its patrons, legendary artist Sir Peter Blake, an image of the structure of heart muscle created by BHF researcher Dr Patrick Hales, and last but not least the power and strength of the human heart itself. These bold arching structures will imitate the movement of veins and arteries, and though I originally envisioned these arches in powder coated steel, an email this week has set me off course. I have a meeting with a supplier tomorrow which may result in an even more eye-catching alternative - of course, you'll be the first to know.
Sir Peter Blake's Image Dr Patrick Hale's Image
Translucent, internally lit red cell stepping stones float through the garden at ground level, traversing a pond (without water there would be no life), under the vibrant red arches which provide upward thrust to the space and frame views before ultimately leading to a 'floating' terrace at the heart of the space. Here the strands of the garden’s arches become freeform overhead, creating a sheltering structure, a break in the overhead frame providing a space to look back over the garden to contemplate, and assess one’s journey through the garden and so through life.
The garden, which is sponsored by Brewin Dolphin, will encompass the healing properties of plants and includes plants used in cardiology treatment, several natives, some marginals, and even some weeds, all creating a jostling foliage jamboree, with very little bloom. Almost entirely green, the textural planting is pushed into the boundaries with a vertical planted green wall system, leading the eye up to the heart shaped leaves of the mature Limes surrounding the 10m x 10m space above. All of this, I hope, will result in the red elements appearing even more rich, positive and bold as they career up, out, over and through the plentiful, green planting.
Essentially I hope to create a garden that celebrates life in all its forms...
In the briefest of detail, that's the overview. There's still so much to tell, several bridges to cross, and plenty of decisions to be made, but more on that later... for now, thanks for reading. Hope you like it....