Southport Flower show 2015 – awarded a GOLD medal

The theme was ‘China’

Chinese gardens are significant pieces of China’s history. Five thousand years of gardening has yielded some of the most elegant and beautiful examples of what a garden can be. No garden is without a lake or pool; this is the spiritual heart. Rocks are placed in groupings that suggest the rugged cliffs and soaring peaks of mountains. The lithe grace and flexibility of bamboo serve as reminders of qualities valued in human beings. A pavilion is an essential component, the resting place from which to contemplate nature. Lanterns are often lit at night.

In our garden we have strived to combine the above elements with traditional cottage garden plants. The Latin names of many reveal their Chinese origin e.g. Trollius chinensis (Chinese Globe Flower) and Buddleia davidii (Butterfly bush, named after Abbé David, a French missionary in China in the 1860’s). We have restricted our colours mainly to the red, orange and yellow end of the spectrum to reflect the Chinese belief that these are lucky colours.

We enter the garden through a moon gate, an ancient landscape element that has many meanings. It celebrates the cohesiveness of the family. It rises out of the earth as the moon rises in the sky, both celebrating the continuous cycle of birth and death, rising and falling.

The Chinese have a saying “He who plants a garden plants happiness”.

I am sure that we all agree with that