Designer chosen for largest Malmo Garden Show display

Head gardener at the Roof Garden, Kensington, David Lewis, is to design a garden for Malmo Garden Show in Sweden next year.

Kensington: roof garden display
Kensington: roof garden display

His design for the growing show will be "a living room with nature taking over" and will be very English in style but with Swedish plants. At 5x8m it will be the largest in the show's four-year history.

"The whole inspiration is based on a reconstituted stone birdbath from Sweden that was bought in 1966 by my Swedish friend's father. I thought it was hilarious that a British-style birdbath was over there. That was the inspiration for creating a very English-style garden using Swedish plants."

He added: "There's going to be two Edwardian country house fireplaces with two Gothic armchairs on either side. We'll have an herbaceous border with a focus on blue and yellow, so referencing the Swedish flag but also the English palette - it was seen a lot at Chelsea earlier this year."

The garden will also feature Olivia Rose Austin from David Austin Roses that will launch in Sweden next year and art by Jane Proctor, who paints on aluminium for outside display.

Malmo organiser John Taylor gave a talk at the Landscape Show last month. The Swedish event is held at Malmo Castle Gardens, where Taylor is head gardener, at the end of May and it includes 10 show gardens. It is funded with £110,000 a year from the municipal parks department.

Visitors attend for free but they spend between £50 to £150 each. Taylor, who is from Sheffield and trained at Myerscough College, said visitor numbers have grown from 8,000 in 2011 to 50,000 this year.

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