Garden designer Kate Gould won an impressive three awards at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show. The garden won Best Sanctuary Garden, Best Construction in the Sanctuary Garden category and Gold. Dubbed Out of the Shadows, the garden is a contemporary wellness and lifestyle-themed sanctuary garden inspired by life after the pandemic.
Post-pandemic gardens are working harder than ever, as many across the country house not only plants, but also office pods, outdoor kitchens, and spaces for socializing, eating, exercising, and entertaining.
Kate’s “Out of the Shadows” garden is small – only 10 x 10 meters – but it packs a punch. It offers visitors a place to relax, exercise, meditate and revitalize the body and mind.
The contemporary garden features a state-of-the-art Jacuzzi® Swim Spa for a workout, a space to sit and relax, monkey bars and a space for meditation and yoga amidst verdant plants.
The swim spa has been cleverly placed in a natural wooden deck, allowing the whirlpool to blend in seamlessly with the surroundings.
The garden combines breathtaking design, functionality and harmony.
For those inspired to start their own sacred garden at home, Kate spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk to share her tips.
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Kate said ferns are “brilliant” because they are structured and “easy to care for.”
The RHS Chelsea Flower Show garden also contains many evergreen plants with glossy leaves.
“These add lightness to a darker, green scheme. If you have a fern with a matte leaf and an aspidistra with a glossy leaf, the two contrast and look really good,” she added.
Not all evergreens bloom, but some varieties do in either shade or sun.
Many of the strains that don’t can keep a garden looking lush and green all year round.
Kate added: “Don’t think everything has to be super colorful all the time. Green as a background is nice and is a foil for whatever you want to contrast it with.”
Those with limited space can embrace container gardening.
Kate suggested having a large pot with just a periwinkle in it and a smaller pot with just paint in it.
Herbs and vegetables can also be planted in pots that add color while being functional.
Another way to add a safe feel to a garden is to add a water feature.
Adding a water feature can be tricky, however, since water and sunlight often produce algae.
Kate said gardeners should make sure they have a good pump with a good filter or opt for a natural pond that’s allowed to settle.
For those who want something chic and modern, gardeners are best off investing in a kit or a specialist to create one for them.
“They’re really tricky,” Kate added.
A sculpture, piece of art, or an interesting piece of driftwood can achieve a similar effect without the “hard work” of a water feature.
RHS Chelsea Flower Show coverage is available to stream on BBC iPlayer.