Luxury fashion brand Mulberry founder designs 100m herbaceous border at Kilver Court

Kilver Court Designer Village has completed the planting of a 100m herbaceous border at its 1.4 hectare garden in Shepton Mallet.

Border at Kilver Court - image: Kilver Court
Border at Kilver Court - image: Kilver Court

The project was the vision of Kilver Court and Mulberry founder Roger Saul who has dreamt of replanting the border since taking ownership of the gardens in 1995. 

The redesign process started in September 2016 and has seen a dedicated team of gardeners tackle all weather conditions, from flooding to drought, as the border, which had grown out of control and was in need of an overhaul since it was first planted in the 1960s, was emptied and the shape remodeled.

Gardeners removed more than 50 wheelbarrow loads of roots and then the challenge was on to replant with over 1,000 plants in hundreds of different varieties to the planting scheme designed by Saul.

His design was inspired by the time he spent working alongside garden designer Nori Pope whose style focused on harnessing the power of colour, and so the planting scheme flows through the full colour spectrum from one end to the other.

However, instead of using the blooms for the colours, Saul chose to focus on the foliage, which moves from yellow and gold through to chartreuse, mid greens, dark greens, to bronze reds and wine purples, finishing with silver blues and white.

Plant varieties used include tropical Euphorbia Pasteurii, Alstroemeria Rock’n’Roll and the Mediterranean Phlomis Italica. Saul included a contemporary seating area constructed from disused timber from nearby Bristol Docks.

He said: "As a designer I’m constantly thinking about how to refresh and reinvent and as one of my true passions is gardening, I couldn't wait to tackle this enormous challenge. This project has been a real labour of love for the whole team because a garden is an ever-changing landscape where you’re trying to tame living things while battling the elements. As you can imagine we are watching with some trepidation to see how well we have run the flower colours together and I am sure there will be some ‘ouch’ moments.

"I’m delighted with our achievements as a team and I hope this new herbaceous border will both surprise and enchant our visitors."

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