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Following on from last weeks 5 minutes with Jason Lock I am equally delighted to introduce his business partner, leading independent landscape garden designer and all round snazzy dresser Chris Deakin (above right, photo Angela Adams}. We are trying to develop a successful design practice that is known for creating gardens that blend simple, elegant structure with layers of textural planting.
Juggling lots of jobs, chasing suppliers, contacting clients and trying to get some peace to design gardens.  Many days are spent traveling, much of our work is all over the east of England and those who know this neck of the woods will realise that getting anywhere in East Anglia is a slow business! Its wonderful, as I love history and her writing brings that period to life so well, you can almost smell it!  I cannot believe just how blood thirsty those Tudors were. As a family we love city breaks around Europe and the world (we are just back from Rome, which was magnificent) but the very best holiday we have had as a family was in St Ives, Cornwall.  Pasties yummmm!
I have recently taken up golf and fallen in love with it.  I also love shopping.  I am never more relaxed than walking through the wonderful, artificial world of the department store! If you enjoyed reading 5 minutes with Chris Deakin please share the love and encourage my interviewees in their ambitions. For more info on Chris and to see more gorgeous garden designs check out the website DeakinLock. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. It is fairly essential for a garden designer to attend RHS Chelsea Flower Show if they possibly can. But Chelsea is about more than the flowers, the stunning water features and the top end sandstone pavers.
It is about more than the show gardens; often you’ll find an original idea in the artisan retreat gardens.
The Brandalley Renaissance garden was mainly water; a cool pool of green to reflect the pavillion and give the impression of a lawn. Blue Iris feature in both these gardens, nestling up against still water and gentle waterspouts. Not all the water was calming; we loved this explosive, moving fountain caught up in a twining metal sphere.


Gardens are sometimes referred to as ‘the room outside’; this garden design idea may be too extreme for most of us but has some individual elements which are useable.
I remember when Chelsea Flower Show wasn’t a shopping experience as well as a garden show and we heard quite a few adverse comments about the amount of retail outlets that were there this year. For Hari and I a visit to RHS Chelsea Flower Show begins and ends with a fun trip on an old red London bus.
This in itself can be an inspiration; the tightly curving stairs reminding me of the way honeysuckle twines through hedges. And look what we saw in one of the artisan gardens – this soft white clematis growing through a yew hedge. The Topiarist Garden was indeed a subtle green and white picture, offering interest from the vertical shapes of corkscrew topiary, climbing rose and white foxgloves, delightfully contrasted against the warm terracotta of the brick  walls and tiled roof.
The dark purples and bronze of these Iris caught the eyes of many a person; vibrant in the sunshine and richly sombre in the shade. DeakinLock are based in East Anglia working on commissions on landscape and garden designs throughout the UK and overseas, Chris is a Registered Member of the Society of Garden Designers as well as a Registered Designer with the British Association of Landscape Industries.
This is born out of our environment, the East Anglian landscape is one of layers and texture. Arguably to go round saying “I did that last year!” as often as “Now there’s a good flower combination”. Although having a pink stags head on your garden fence could be a step too far, using a repeat colour for garden sundries that match some of your flowers is one way to make a small space seem larger. But you can find some quirky garden sundries that in themselves are fun as well as giving us some garden design ideas for clients who like something a bit different. This year, remembering the start of the First World War was a theme and an element in many gardens.
50 feet high and designed by the leading landscape architect Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe, this garden retreat once boasted a three story waterfall. Jason and Chris were responsible for Notcutts numerous Gold Medal designs at Chelsea until 2008, and have had more recent medal success with John Woods Nursery and The English Glass House Company.


This year we saw an oak tree covered in a shroud; a reminder of the devastation that oak processionary moth can wreak. Poppies of one variety or another elbowed their way in to gardens and display stands alike. This year they have been chosen to design House of Fraser‘s first garden exhibit at RHS Chelsea Flower Show. But shouldn’t gardens be able to encompass the whole range of human needs and emotions?
The design is called Fabric, on the ideas for the design Chris says: “The design is based on a small courtyard garden, extending the interior decor allowing for a seamless transition between spaces, thus creating a true ‘outdoor room’. They installed a viewing platform to look across the garden, designed with curved lines and circular shapes. The use of specialist photo realistic wrapping techniques will enable us to recreate materials previously limited to interior use.
The public could walk through the pond garden on stepping stones, and a waterfall cascaded down the south side of the building.During the eighties the garden was overgrown and fell into disrepair and was eventually closed. The store was taken over by House of Fraser in 2000, and restoration plans were put into place including a new atrium at the front of the store. The garden was restored with new planting mainly consisting of herbaceous perennials and ornamental grasses. Thanks also to a condition of a new planning application which stated that the garden must be preserved, and thus it was saved for the public.



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