This year’s Cheshire RHS Tatton Show garden brought home three medals for WM Design Studio the coveted gold medal, Best Construction in Show and Best Future Spaces garden.
Known simply as 2101, the garden imagined what our British residential gardens would look like in the year 2101, when global warming has caused temperature rises of around 7c.
With native species long gone and large specimen cacti and tropical planting thriving, this design resembles the landscape of Southern California or Mexico.
With a ‘Mad Max’ appeal to the garden, it certainly created a talking point at the show and impressed the judges, as well as the BBC Gardeners’ World presenters.
The 2101 garden was sponsored by Cactus Direct, who provided the 60cm wide Echinocactus grusonii and the 150cm tall Polaskia chichipe.
The structural elements of the garden – the conical relaxing area, the spherical shaded area and the battered-edge sandstone table and benches – were all designed by Robert Warnes. Casa Ceramica supplied the large format, single piece porcelain tiles, which formed a stepped path.
A split-level design was included to act as a ‘rain garden’ that manages increased rainwater run off within the garden. This collects water in the permeable higher areas, and distributes it into lower, densely planted areas that soak up excess moisture, alleviating flood risks.
The garden included a range of planting that can cope with extreme heat on the higher level, and plants that can deal with extremes of water and drought on the lower level.
We apply these concepts in our garden deisgns today to manage excess rainwater and periods of drought while alleviating flood risks in the future.
Within the garden, trees that are flourishing in the warmer climate include: Pinus sylvestris (Scots pine); Alnus glutinosa (Common alder) and Betula nigra (River birch).
Tropical trees and large plants that are growing and thriving in 2101 include: Yucca filifera; Yucca rostrata; Yucca glorisoa; Trithrinax campestris; Nannorrhops richinana and Butia odorata. In addition to this, drought-resistant meadow planting provides colour and texture.
With thanks to: Cactus Direct, Casa Ceramics, Rectory Garden Plants, The Tropical Plant Company, Brooks Brothers and Bo Concept.