Red Thread garden for Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

banneer-RED_THREAD_01Garden designer Robert Baker will be presenting his Red Thread Garden at this year’s RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show under the Conceptual category.

The garden, marking Robert’s debut at an RHS show, is inspired by the ancient Chinese myth called ‘the Red Thread of Fate’.

The myth tells that when we are born the gods tie one of our ankles with a red thread, which also gets attached to all the people whose lives we are destined to touch. The thread may stretch or tangle but will never break. The idea came to him while he was drawing with his three-year-old daughter and with crayon in hand he made a quick sketch of the garden.

To represent the myth in a garden setting Robert has chosen locally sourced oak to create pillars that range from 1.7m to 2.6m in height and a red polymer rope with a matte finish, to give the impression of thick cotton.

Lots of texture will be key in the garden with the planting acting as a textural backdrop to the red rope. The sculptural oak blocks are repeated throughout the garden as repetition of the varying heights of the oak posts as well as to ground the design.

The colour scheme will complement the red rope and as such there will be hints of red in the planting as well as purple and white. Two Asian wedding cake trees (Cornus controversa) have been chosen for their beautiful tinted stems. In contrast to the sculptural oak blocks, Pittosporum tobira ‘Nanum’, featured for their lovely round-dome form and leathery, glossy obovate leaves, will be dotted throughout.

Texture and depth will be added with Hydrangea Quercifolia and ferns such as Dryopteris filix-mas. Astrantia Major Subsp. Involucrate ‘Shaggy’ and Sanguisorba ‘Tanna’ will be added for colour.

The garden owner could be a gallerist and the garden could be viewed as an art installation as it offers an element of visitor interaction. Visitors will be provided with a red threat and invited to tie it around the two character oak posts, or alternatively take it home with them.

Plants for the garden are being sourced from Kelways Nursery and the garden build will be carried out by Terraforma Landscapes.