BY TOBY PORTER
A garden designer has won a silver medal at one of the country’s biggest annual shows.
Tessa Parikian, from West Norwood, took the award at the ever-popular, BBC Gardeners’ World Live in the Beautiful Border category.
Her ‘Resilient Garden in a Changing Climate’ was inspired by last year’s drought.
She wanted to encourage people to think about harvesting rainwater when it was wet so it could be used during dry spells, and not rely on tap water.
She said: “After last year’s very dry spring and summer, as a keen gardener with a garden planted for beauty and wildlife, I didn’t want to use copious tap water on the garden, but the rain water collected in a water butt.”
The design was for a border 6×1.5m and the overall theme this year was Our Space, which the designer could interpret how they wanted.
Tessa created a garden with, at one end, a border with plants that will survive happily in sunshine and with little water once established.
There are also plants that prefer damp and shady conditions at the other end.
At the apex of the border is an elegant water butt to symbolise the need to collect rainwater.
Tessa said: “As the climate changes and weather events become more unpredictable, our gardens need to become resilient. Plants cool the air by two to four degrees.
“In urban spaces this can make the difference between a comfortable or unbearable temperature.”
The garden took Tessa three days to build, with sister Laura, in some miserable weather, in kagouls, at the NEC, Birmingham.
The plants had to be transported from South London in a large van.
Rosemary and Nepeta ‘Walkers Low, sat alongside the more unusual Dianthus carthusianorum, a species pink, and Allium cernuum, an allium with pretty pale pink drooping flower heads at one end, and Ferns and candelabra primulas, Primula beesiana and bulleyana at the other.