I’ve just spent the week with two of the other trainees I live with, implementing our bedding design into reality on the top terrace bedding panels!
Since successfully winning the mini competition amongst the trainees at the start of the year, the three of us have worked hard at find growers and nurseries to produce and look after the plants chosen whilst in their juvenile stages.
Our objective was to do something new, inspiring and thought provoking. Whether visitors like it or not is up for debate!
Our scheme is based on the theme of Chiaroscuro; an Italian artistic term to describe powerful contrasts between light and dark, affecting a whole composition. We were inspired by ‘Death on the Pale Horse’ painted by Benjamin West in 1796.
The white swath of Cosmos used in the scheme is to represent the horse, providing variations in height to show transition from head to tail. Dark foliage plants are used to create stark contrast and bring out the brilliant white. Red is used to represent fear, danger or warning and add another dimension to the colour pallet.
The initial marking out was a tricky business and a lot more complex than the standard – we like to make things challenging!! This was partially due to our unequal shape, which narrowed and widened in various beds. The beds to plant into were also of different areas and were parallelogram in shape, so had no lines of symmetry. This involved lots of maths and some frantic divisions, to ensure even and mirrored symmetry was achieved – all whilst the rain came down!
Motto of the story: pay attention in maths – it is important and you will need it later in life!
Once marking out was complete, we began digging out, mounding and sculpting soil in the beds. This was a key part to our design, which sets it apart from a lot of traditional flat level bedding. Although some height can be obtained this way, we wanted to enhance this further for greater impact.
Next came the layout and spacing of plants. Maths played its part once again! We had already worked out the number of plants (plus 10% extra) required for the complete project, but how many plants went into each section would vary dependant on bed size… tricky huh? So laying out was key before some planting could begin, and we began more conservatively, so additional plants could always be added.
Now for the fun part… the planting! But with over 4,500 plants to put in, we were going to need a little help from our friends! So we sent out an SOS to the garden staff to ask for assistance.
Before we knew it the planting was complete.
Why not come and visit soon and see how it progresses for yourself?