My design for this garden was both a literal and conceptual interpretation of the title’s theme. Primarily it was designed to be used as a garden for prisoners; it’s intrinsic shape encouraging movement and exercise around a relatively small space. Set within the calming and uplifting perimeter planting are discrete seating areas, large enough to accommodate visiting family and friends but personal enough to be used for peaceful “alone time”. I strived to impart a sense of calm and tranquility in every aspect of this design.
The inner sanctum is afforded a sense of privacy and protection by the introduction of semi-permeable screens. The sculptural tubes and mature Betula utilis var. jacquemontii tree create a sense of height, structure and permanence that allows the garden to hold it’s own within an industrialised prison setting. The band of ornamental grasses establish privacy at seating level and introduce soothing sound and movement into the garden.
As a show garden, the increased freedom to use sustainable methods and materials was fully utilized. Not only was the garden built principally by the local Young Offenders at HMYOI Thorn Cross but all of the materials were reclaimed, recycled and re-used.
KATHARINE WILLS GARDEN DESIGN
RHS Tatton Park, Show Garden