Beyond proud of my team who came together from the UK, Canada and across the USA to create our ‘Nature Amplified’ Show Garden at the Philadelphia Flower Show in Pennsylvania.
Our efforts in the blistering sunshine working twelve hour days through a nine day build brought us lasting friendship and three of the shows top awards!
The American Horticultural Society Environmental Award – for an exhibit of horticultural excellence that best demonstrates the bond between horticulture and the environment and inspires the viewer to beautify home and community through skilful design and appropriate plant material.
PHS Gardening for the Greater Good Award – for the exhibit that best exemplifies PHS’s mission to activate horticulture and gardening as a force for the ‘greater good’ by advancing the health and well-being of people and their environments.
Special Achievement Award of the Garden Club Federation of Pennsylvania – awarded to an exhibit of unusual excellence (1000sq ft and over) in the category of Conservation.
Our volunteers who made this garden an absolute joy to build. Thank you so much Ann Brodie, Lisa Downing, Shane Eason, Melinda Kelley, Linda Verardi, Mary Ellen Babich and Jac Blanco, we will never be able to thank you enough.
Our Full Brief and Plant List are below:
Nature Amplified – A Celebration of Color.
Our garden’s aim is to create a vibrant, exciting habitat that will inspire visitors to grow a wide range of colourful, life-enhancing, pollinator-attracting blooms at home and to garden in a more sustainable way.
Gardening in this way amplifies nature’s color and power to create a holistic, evolving ecology which looks good, feels good and does good. We hope that our easy to copy, low-cost ideas provide accessible inspiration for visitors to embrace environmentally-conscious gardening.
Flowers in full bloom are not just beautiful, they’re fundamental to our life on earth, bringing us all together through nature. It’s no secret that bees and other pollinators are in massive decline. World food production is being hugely impacted (pollinators contribute to producing 90% of the world’s food). By planting a range of pollinator-attracting flowers, we gardeners are helping to provide forage to support biodiversity which directly impacts all life on earth.
Gardens are vital in linking areas together locally and internationally creating stepping stones of suitable habitat to allow species to migrate and populations to connect. Our garden is designed as a plant-filled colorful haven for an abundance of insects, animals and fungi to co-exist within, creating an environment that combines forces with nature.
Gardening may be a personal act, but individual gardening choices or decisions can also combine to create a positive global impact, and we hope to demonstrate sustainable gardening practices in our show garden. More carbon is locked within the planet’s soils than in plants and the atmosphere combined – the result of interactions among plants, fungi, bacteria and other soil organisms. The climate mitigation potential of ‘carbon gardening’ is considerable, given the USA’s more than 135 million acres of residential land. We want to encourage everyone to garden naturally and organically, look after their soil and ultimately grow a wider range of plants.
Ditching synthetic fertilisers also helps in restoring soil carbon. Organic feeds, mulches and composts can supply adequate nutrients for our plants, to nurture a diverse ecosystem of soil life to support plants naturally. Therefore all our borders are mulched with composted chipped bark using readily available natural materials, that are ‘of the earth’ and which will ultimately return to the earth.
Excepting our pond liner, the garden is entirely constructed from natural materials, minimising our show garden’s environmental impact. Our garden paths are water permeable (paved gardens exacerbate urban flood risk and aggravate heatwave conditions by absorbing heat in the day then releasing it at night), and biodegradable.
We’re also ‘taking a wall for a walk’ – a meandering log stack wall (a nod to the rolling Appalachian mountains which run into Pennsylvania) will steadily degrade to support wildlife and promote soil health. Our log wall also highlights how a range of wildlife habitats should be a consideration in all our gardens and landscapes.
There’ll be vertical elements emerging from the planting, representing stamens, to celebrate the value of pollen, passed from bloom to bloom as a bee buzzes about its daily business, pollinating our flowers as they go so fruit and seed can develop. The garden features a central pond to further sustain the natural ecosystem. The path layout is inspired by a section of the anatomy of a bee’s wing.
Gardens and nature are inextricably linked. We hope our garden demonstrates this fact and that visitors will be inspired to employ these ideas at home, knowing that their environmental approach to gardening will make the world a more beautiful and sustainable place.
|ACHILLEA ‘SASSY SUMMER LEMON’|
|ASCLEPIAS INCARNATA ‘CINDERELLA’|
|ASTILBE CHINENSIS ‘VISION IN PINK’|
|ATHYRIUM FILIX-FEMINA ‘VICTORIAE’|
|ATHYRIUM FILIX-FEMINA ANGUSTUM ‘LADY IN RED’|
|BAPTISIA ‘DECADENCE CHERRIES JUBILEE’|
|BETULA NIGRA ‘CULLY’ HERITAGE|
|BETULA NIGRA ‘DURA HEAT’|
|BUDDLEJA ‘MISS MOLLY’|
|CERCIS CANADENSIS ‘FOREST PANSY’|
|COREOPSIS ‘GOLD STANDARD’|
|COREOPSIS ‘MECURY RISING’|
|CORNUS ALBA ‘SIBIRICA’|
|DESCHCAMPSIA CESPITOSA ‘GOLDTAU’|
|DIGITALIS PURPUREA FOXY GROUP|
|ECHINACEA ‘MELLOW YELLOWS’|
|ECHINACEA PURPUREA ‘FIERY MEADOW MAMA’|
|ECHINACEA PURPUREA ‘PRAIRIE SPLENDOR’|
|EPIMEDIUM ‘FIRE DRAGON’|
|EUPHORBIA AMYGDALOIDES ROBBIAE|
|FILIPENDULA RUBRA ‘RED UMBRELLA’|
|GERANIUM ‘GERWAT’ ROZANNE|
|GERANIUM MACRORRHIZUM ‘BEVAN’S VARIETY’|
|HYDRANGEA ABORESCENS ‘ANNABELLE’|
|HYPERICUM X INODORUM ‘PUMPKIN’|
|IRIS LOUISIANA ‘GAMECOCK’|
|LAGERSTROEMIA INDICA ‘SIOUX’|
|LIGULARIA ‘THE ROCKET’|
|LOBELIA CARDINALIS ‘PINK FLAME’|
|LONICERA X HECKROTTI|
|MONARDA DIDYMA ‘SUGAR BUZZ ROCKIN RASPBERRY’|
|NEPETA RACEMOSA ‘WALKER’S LOW’|
|PANICUM VIRGATUM ‘SHENADOAH’|
|PENNISETUM ORIENTALE ‘KARLEY ROSE’|
|PHYSOCARPUS OPULIFOLIUS ‘FIRST EDITIONS LITTLE DEVIL’|
|POLYSTICHUM X DYCEI|
|RODGERSIA ‘BRONZE PEACOCK’|
|SALVIA NEMOROSA ‘BUMBLEBERRY’|
|SALVIA NEMOROSA ‘MARVEL ROSE’|
|SAMBUCUS NIGRA ‘BLACK LACE’|
|SCABIOSA COLUMBARIA ‘BUTTERFLY BLUE’|
|SISYRINCHIUM ANGUSTIFOLIA ‘LUCERNE’|
|TIARELLA CORDIFOLIA ‘RUNNING TAPESTRY’|
|VERONICA SPICATA ‘SNOW CANDLES’|
|WEIGELA FLORIDA ‘ELVERA’ MIDNIGHT WINE|