Thursday, 24 May 2012

Best Show Garden ... The Brewin Dolphin Garden By Cleve West

With over 200 photos (and that was controlling myself) and choosing a few from each category,
I thought I would start off with the Best in Show category at this years Chelsea Flower Show ...

Cleve West took out this honour for the second year running with his design of The Brewer Dolphin garden combing a contemporary feel with a celebration of the heritage of British gardening ... a resurgence of topiary art form in the 19th century.

The garden is intended to be formal and timeless, contemporary yet traditional ... with the use of yew topiary, beech hedging as well as a mix of perennials and annuals to contrast with the clipped forms.

The use of reclaimed limestone created an impressive grounding for the plants and will be reused after the show.

The colour palette included delicate whites, lime greens and yellows, with splashes of reds and purple for contrast.

{all images above belong to Iced VoVos}

The garden is meant to elegantly capture a sense of strength and size giving visitors a personal experience and interpretation of Cleve's design. For a full plant list click here.

This wasn't my favourite garden, but I have always been a lover of topiary and formality in the garden and this one ticked the timeless box for me, especially with the mixture of traditional and contemporary elements.

If you're into topiary, a great book I picked up at the show is Topiary for Everyone by Burgon & Ball (Sheffield England) available here or here.

 Tomorrow I'll show you my favourite garden(s).
We are having the most amazing weather in London at the moment
I hope you are too ...



  1. Beautiful images - and I love this garden too - mainly because I am a HUGE fan of topiary(thanks for the book suggestion!) , formality and limestone, so it ticks ALL boxes for me! Looking forward to seeing your favourites though. I so wish I could have seen Chelsea this year - especially with this glorious weather!
    Paula x

    1. The weather has been such a bonus Paula. Friends went last year when it poured with rain ... and they said it was definitely not fun! Wellies and rain gear did a roaring trade ... this year it was the sun hats!

  2. I loved this garden, and am so pleased it won gold and best in show.
    I particularly like the old garden gate and of course the topiary!
    It's wonderful to see the BBC's coverage in the evening too, as you really get an overview of Chelsea, including bits you might not see because of the crowds.
    Have a lovely evening.

    1. I wouldn't mind a gate like that Liz ... and I agree, I'm also enjoying the BBCs coverage in the evening.

  3. What fabulous timing to have such lovely weather.
    I saw a feature about this year's Chelsea on 'Better Homes and Gardens' last night co-incidently!
    I loved the little caravan in one of the gardens.
    Look forward to seeing your faves x

  4. I also loved the 'Celebration of Caravanning' Penny! The caravan was so retro. Did you see the hidden hammock and the amazing seats. I'll try and post some pics.

  5. Am a great topiary fan (my own garden attests to that) so I love seeing how it is used.

    Now, whichever way I look at this garden though, I am seeing the topiary as a Darlic. (Sorry dr who fans, not sure if that is the correct spelling...). Which is not to say I don't like it, I rather do. This is such a fabulous example of British gardening, with all the generosity of perennials.

    Love that gate and the pillars too. Looking forward to seeing your favourite garden next. xx


Thank you for your lovely comments!


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