Success for 'Ashes to Ashes' Conservation Foundation garden at Hampton Court

Outerspace Designs and The Conservation Foundation’s ‘Ashes to Ashes’ conceptual garden won a gold medal at this year’s RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show.

It is the first gold medal for designer Bruce Waldock and the Hampton Court debut for The Conservation Foundation, which was co-founded in 1982 by David Shreeve and David Bellamy. Plants were supplied by Rumwood Nurseries.

Actress and gardener Susan Hampshire helped launch the garden.

In one half of the garden, an apocalyptic scene of devastation highlights the threat of ash dieback disease, while in the other a glade of vividly green young elm trees rises along a grassy ridge to the top of a barrow-like mound in a 'soaring spiral of hope'.

The elms were micropropagated from healthy mature trees found growing in the English countryside having survived Dutch elm disease and are part of The Conservation Foundation’s Great British Elm Experiment.

Bruce Waldock said: "As easy as it is to concentrate on the negative, I really want this garden to end on a positive note. The Conservation Foundation certainly hasn’t given up on saving our elm trees and perhaps the same positive conservation message can be applied to our ash population."

Shreeve said: "We should never under estimate the importance of trees and the effect they have on our own well-being. Our experiment will not replace the millions of elms lost over the years to Dutch elm disease but we hope it will create awareness in new generations of the heritage of the elm and how essential diversity is to nature."

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