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From an Ocean to a Garden

By Paul Cooper. The theme of the garden is a geological story. It is a garden as a visualisation of the history of stone, which began on the seabed as compacted shells, later to be forced upwards as continents collided to form mountain ranges. It is a garden of two levels; a lower zone is given over to water, and an upper zone is dominated by planting. With the planting at head height and above, the garden is intended to provide an intimate sensory experience for the garden's owner.

The architectural style of the garden refers to the 16th century stone Veneto villas designed by Palladio, and the planting refers to both the native and man-made landscape of the same region.

Chelsea 2008

The hard materials used are exclusively Italian stone. Water cascades, pours and slides down all of the stone surfaces, columns and sculptural forms in the lower zone and collects in pools within the contoured stone floor. This area is intended to represent the formation of the stone on the sea bed.

The planting represents the final part of the narrative: the emergence and establishment of plant life on the young hills and mountains, and later the intervention in the natural landscape by man, first for crops and then for the creation of gardens.

The rear of the garden contains the familiar backdrop of dark firs, supported by other plants native to this region. Productive plants such as olive and myrtle are also included, as are some imports that are now established in many of the Villa gardens in the region. A box hedge serves to provide a link with the architecture, and also separates the montage of agricultural and natural planting from the formal pleasure garden. Roses have been introduced in many of the Villa gardens of the regions and are used to complete the story of the stone.

Planting list:
Shrub rose (e.g. Heritage)
Lavandula dwarf
Ranunculus lingua
Buxus sempervirens
Myrtus communis
Olive - Olea
Juniperus scopulorum 'Skyrocket'
Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii
Miscanthus sinensis 'Morning Light'
Cupressus sempervirens Stricta Group