Natural Swimming Pool, RHS Chelsea Flower Show

A writer’s retreat

This romantic garden is a quintessentially British restorative retreat, where its owner can unwind, away from the hustle and bustle of city living.

The 2015 M&G Garden featured a two-storey oak framed building inspired by the garden retreats of, amongst others, Vita Sackville-West, Virginia Woolf, Dylan Thomas and Roald Dahl. A large natural swimming pond was edged with water-loving plants, and surrounded by a woodland of river birches and acers. This is all nestled within planting beds of tumbling roses and peonies in a palette of greens, punctuated by soft pinks, lavender blues and creams, with a touch of orange. A bespoke sculpture of Purbeck stone was created for the garden by Tom Stogdon.

The relaxing atmosphere was enhanced by seating from Gareth Neal, floral designs styled by Flora Starkey and styling by Kendra Wilson.

Partially covered by trees and lush planting, the M&G Garden design for 2015 drew on local influences: from the vernacular architecture features synonymous with the Sussex and Kent countryside where Jo currently lives, to the use of Purbeck stone at the far end of the swimming pond owing to her childhood in Dorset.

Style – Traditional British
Location – London, UK
Size – 220 sq m

Photography by Katy Donaldson.