The Healing Urban Garden

Healing Urban Garden, Hampton Court

I’ve been meaning to share this picture of the HUG (the Healing Urban Garden) designed by Rae Wilkinson for the Hampton Court Flower Show. The garden looks much more open viewed from the front, but from this angle, it’s easier to see the style of the planting, which is densely packed and surprisingly linear. That’s the part of the garden that fascinates me.

It’s an interesting, textural effect, reminding me of the rows commonly used in crop gardens, such as cutting gardens or kitchen gardens. I wonder if for some people, the sense of order and rhythm underpinning the design makes it more relaxing? If asked beforehand, I’d have said I preferred plants to mingle together naturally, but something in my pattern-loving nature responds to the technique, especially as it’s not rigidly applied.

The plants included lots of aromatic perennials and healing herbs, such as lavender, artemisia, thyme, stachys, rosemary, salvia, allium, eryngium and nepeta. The calming, subtle colour palette of silver, blue and green was lifted by purple, the bronzy foliage of head-high, multi-stemmed trees and lavender, the latter carried through to the walls and accessories. 

Finishing touches included the Urbis lily bowl and matching oversized planters. I’m sorry that my picture hasn’t done justice to the curvy, bleached oak bench created as a one off with furniture sculptor, Alun Heslop of  Chaircreative: now, that’s what I call bleached (out).

Take a look at Rae’s site if you’d like to check out the official plant list or visit the RHS website for more pictures of the HUG (and a better view of the bench!).

26 Replies to “The Healing Urban Garden”

  1. Very pretty; I like the purple walls and the hardscaping too. It would be even prettier with a waterfall, but I’m always a sucker for waterfalls.

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