The ‘Low Cost, High Impact’ category, introduced for the first time last year, aims to provide visitors with ideas for achievable and believable gardens, based on a fixed budget for hard landscaping, plant material and labour.
This year four gardens have been selected to showcase what can be achieved for £7,000, £13,000 and £15,000. The winning gardens, which were announced at the APL Awards, are:
£7k Budget - ‘In at the Deep End’
Designer – Peter Cowell
Contractor – Living Gardens Limited
In at the Deep End is inspired by the many gardens where levels are disproportionate to clients’ houses and changes in level are difficult to achieve or where drainage is almost non-existent and any conventional design would be difficult to achieve. This garden shows just one way of achieving better use of a similar area with ‘sunken plants’ and ‘floating’ paving and steps.
£13k Budget - ‘Bugs in Boots'
Designer – Caspian Roberts
Contractor – Surrey Gardens
Bugs in Boots is an ecological space for insects, birds and other wildlife. It is designed to flood in heavy rainfall, allowing water to slowly permeate into the soil as opposed to passing water on to other attenuated water systems. The garden was inspired by the work undertaken by the RHS Plants for Pollinators project.
£15k Budget - ‘A Room with a View’
Designer - Mike Harvey
Contractor – Arun Landscapes
This garden consists of a secluded, raised seating area with a view. It comprises muted tones of weathered oak and rusty ‘curtain’ combining with the greens, browns, whites and greys of the planting. The raised slope area is created by the client disposing soil from the house extension excavations – demonstrating an innovative way of reducing waste from projects.
£15k Budget - ‘Mid-Century Modern’
Designer – Adele Ford and Susan Wilmott
Contractor – Outdoor Creations
Mid Century Modern is a modern interpretation of a 1950’s theme which will feature shapes, patterns and colours from advertising of the time. It will incorporate a large central feature with hanging furniture and bold, large leaves and structural plants to compliment the bold, bright design of the garden. The garden shows how to create two separate spaces to enjoy in a typical small back garden.
The Low Cost, High Impact gardens will be in the new Inspire zone at the show. Also in this area will be an APL demonstration garden. Here members of the APL will provide practical demonstrations of key tasks such as turf laying, planting borders and laying decking.
APL chairman Mark Gregory said: "This year’s four gardens provide such a wealth of ideas which in turn will give visitors to the show inspiration I am sure. Together with the APL demonstration area they provide APL members with a fantastic opportunity showcase their skills to a wide audience and engage with visitors to the show."