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The Laurent-Perrier Garden

By Tom Stuart-Smith. The Laurent-Perrier Garden is designed as a contemplative space with a dreamy and slightly surreal character. It is a garden of elegant understatement based on the idea of juxtaposing opposites.

Chelsea 2008 laurent-perrier garden

The build elements of the garden are made entirely of brick-shaped objects, orientated in one direction, while the planting is in a seemingly random pattern. The layout of the garden is made by overlaying a number of separate patterns.

Chelsea 2008 laurent-perrier garden

A grove of 30-year-old hornbeams extends over the garden. The trees are pruned so that the foliage forms a number of rounded 'clouds', which seem to float in mid air. This grove is dissected by a pattern of paths made from traditional Flemish bricks that are laid over the garden like a net. The paths eventually lead to a terrace at the back of the garden to a seating area.

Chelsea 2008 laurent-perrier garden

A third element of the design is a number of zinc tanks, which are placed throughout the garden. Designed by Andrew Ewing, they brim with water and appear to overflow. Zinc is also used in large panels to form the rear wall of the garden. The metal was chosen because it can be used to make precisely detailed features and has a beautiful patina, and the cool blue-grey colouring suits the contemplative green garden.

Chelsea 2008 laurent-perrier garden

The fourth element of the design is the herbaceous planting, which forms an undulating tapestry throughout the garden. The colour palette is predominantly green, and key plants include Rodgersia, Molinia, Epimedium, Asarum, Hosta 'Devon Green' and Astrantia. The planting is designed to be calm and poised, with an emphasis on form and texture, rather than colour.

Chelsea 2008 laurent-perrier garden

Planting list:
Cloud pruned hornbeam
Taxus hedging
Osmanthus heterohpyllus
Alchemilla erythropoda
Asarum europeaum
Astrantia major subsp. involucrata 'Shaggy'
Darmera peltata
Dryopteris filix-mas or D. wallichiana
Epimedium × youngianum 'Niveum'
Epimedium × rubrum
Euphorbia palustris
Euphorbia wallichii
Geranium phaeum 'Album'
Gillenia trifoliata
Hakonechloa macra
Hosta 'Devon Green'
Kirengeshoma palmata
Molinia caerulea subsp. arundinacea 'Transparent'
Molinia caerulea subsp. arundinacea 'Fontane'
Molinia caerulea subsp. arundinacea 'Windspiel'
Molinia caerulea subsp. arundinacea 'Strahlenquelle'
Paeonia lactiflora 'Jan van Leeuwen'
Paeonia lactiflora 'White Wings'
Peaonia lactiflora 'Krinkled White'
Rodgersia podophylla 'Rotlaub'
Selaginella helvetica
Selinum wallichianum
Tellima grandiflora
Digitalis purpurea f. albiflora
Buxus sempervirens