Kensington and Chelsea, May 2015

English Gardens

5 November 2015

The Daily Telegraph is the only exhibitor to have been awarded the top prize of Best Show Garden at Chelsea three years consecutively, so it’s nosurprise that someone of Marcus Barnett’s calibre has been chosen to design its garden this year: he already has RHS Gold, Silver Gilt and Silver medals of which to boast, as well as a rather unconventional career path; Marcus was in the army for seven years before he established his own design practice.

This year’s Telegraph garden will be “bold, with a striking planting palette underpinned by a strong, rectilinear framework”. Interestingly, inspiration came from the 20th century artistic De Stijl movement, which championed simplicity and abstraction, in both architecture and painting, by using only straight lines, rectangular forms and primary colours. This might not seem the most obvious (or easy) theme for a garden but Marcus has achieved it by using plants in vibrant reds, blues and yellows, balanced by quieter greens and whites.

“[The] strong rectilinear geometry created by paths, waterways and differently sized blocks of colour and texture will stand out whether the garden is seen from within or from above,” explains Marcus. “Two walls punctuating the boundary hedges will act as a foil for the planting, while trees and hedges will provide dappled shade as well as vertical and sculptural form.”