Show garden inspires hidden paradise

There have been countless times when I have gone to flower shows and taken inspiration from particular show gardens. We all do it – one of the reasons for going – and although for many of us it might be just a particular grouping of plants or an idea for a water feature, they sow the seeds of our imagination. Social media too has opened the doors for lots of inspiration as we can now view other gardens and landscapes as never before.

So, when garden designer, Jack Dunckley had been reminiscing on social media about his 2009 award-winning RHS Hampton Court Palace show garden ‘Deserts Delight’ (pictured banner above) he was delighted when a follower commented that the show garden had in fact inspired him to produce his very own creative piece in his back garden, which many people now visit on open days for charity.

(above: part of Steve’s garden)

Garden owner, Steve Moodey had worked in a garden centre for 12 years but found rare and unusual plants were hard to find. After seeing how well a Musella lasiocarpa grew in his sister’s garden, this prompted his addiction to hardy palms, tree ferns and banana trees – he was hooked.

Steve was originally inspired by legendary plantsmen like Christopher Lloyd and Will Giles but when he saw Jack’s Hampton Court garden the inspiration for the ‘landscaping’ part of his own Oxfordshire garden took hold. Steve even had a picture of the ‘Deserts Delight’ garden as a screensaver on his laptop for years because the show garden had impressed him so much and its good news to know that Jack’s inspiration spurred him to designing his own little piece of paradise.

Jack Dunckley has won numerous awards including RHS Medals at Chelsea, Hampton Court and Malvern Spring Shows and is one of our young stars of garden design. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of plants and landscape design ranging from the classical to the contemporary.

Jack has his practice in London and details of his work can be found by visiting: