Sensory garden grabs gold medal

A new design talent has made an impact at this week's RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show by scooping a gold medal and best small garden award with her first-ever garden.

Selina Botham's Hearing Garden, which celebrates sound, was the first garden at Hampton Court to focus on enjoying the sounds found in gardens.

Silver birch harvested from local common land formed screens, while a limestone water feature was the centrepiece.

"The garden's planting and design represents a typical suburban courtyard garden, creating a sensory wonderland that alludes to the world of hearing," she said.

Botham, a designer at Design for All Seasons near Esher, Surrey, said silvery willow and juvenile eucalyptus swaying in the breeze gave a gentle background sound.

"Many hearing-impaired people say how they enjoy nature's sounds - birdsong and leaves rustling - when they first wear hearing aids," Botham explained.

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