John Constable's The Hay Wain inspires garden design for RSPB

An area that inspired John Constable to paint The Hay Wain could trigger a surge in wildlife gardening.

Landscape architect Alex Johnson and garden designer Catherine Heatherington have been commissioned to design a wildlife garden for the RSPB at Flatford in Suffolk.

The garden is to be a living exemplar of the RSPB's Homes for Wildlife campaign, and it is hoped it will inspire some of the area's 225,000 annual visitors to create a similar scheme at home.

Johnson — who met Heatherington while both were council members at the Society of Garden Designers — said the design for the garden draws on some of the elements of The Hay Wain, such as its black poplars.

"As well as being a beautiful tree, it is also becoming more rare," she said. "We were also inspired by the local distinctiveness and craftsmanship in that part of Suffolk."

Materials echo those of the local churchyard at East Bergholt, using flint, brick-dust paths and black-stained wood.

Johnson explained she was keen to dispel the myth that a wildlife garden must be unkempt. She said: "There are lots of ways of making a garden more wildlife-friendly; it doesn't just have to be messy.

"Birds and bees don't care if the garden is informal or not. It is quite a big site so we were able to explore a number of different ideas, some of which would translate into a smaller garden."

Formal, intimate areas combine with more natural planting across the site. The new garden is due to open next summer.

 

Subscribe to Horticulture Week for more news, more in-depth features and more technical and market info.

 


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next

Trees and Shrubs - Planting benefits

Trees and Shrubs - Planting benefits

The message that health, the environment and business all benefit from trees is finally getting through, but are nurseries seeing an upturn? Sally Drury reports.

Trees and Shrubs - Planting products

Trees and Shrubs - Planting products

Young trees face a tough challenge to get established. Sally Drury looks at some of the best products available to help ensure successful planting projects.

Arbutus

Arbutus

These evergreen trees and shrubs have decorative bark and can flower and fruit simultaneously, says Miranda Kimberley.


Survey

What kit and machinery do you most want to read about in Horticulture Week?

What kit and machinery do you most want to read about in Horticulture Week?

Horticulture Week would like your help to identify the machinery you most want to see reviewed.

Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

BUSINESS LEADs

Build your business with the latest public sector tenders covering landscape, arboriculture, grounds care, production and kit supplies. To receive the latest tenders weekly to your inbox sign up for our Tenders Tracker bulletin here.

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Horticulture Week Top 50 Landscape and maintenance contractors

See our exclusive RANKING of landscape and maintenance contractors by annual turnover plus the FULL REPORT AND ANALYSIS

PLANT SUPPLIERS GUIDE

Free to subscribers, the essential guide for professional plant buyers
 

Download your copy

Products & Kit Resources