The Cotswolds wins gold at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

Paul's garden

Paul's garden - Credit: Archant

It’s gold all the way for the Cotswolds at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show which opens to the public today.

Paul's garden

Paul's garden - Credit: Archant

The Wildfowl and Wetland Trust garden has won gold and the coveted best in show for a design showing how collecting rainwater in a mini wetland could prevent flash flooding.

And Stroud-based designer Paul Hervey-Brookes has also won gold with a dog friendly garden for the Dogs Trust.

The Wildfowl and Wetland Trust garden

The Wildfowl and Wetland Trust garden - Credit: Archant

Jeni Cairns’ garden for the WWT, based at Slimbridge, incorporates a series of water features that collect run-off from buildings, filter it through plants and allow it to flow into wildlife friendly wetland.

Such design ideas could, says the Trust, combat the danger of local drains being overwhelmed by water coming off roofs, patios and decking by releasing the water slowly.

The Wildfowl and Wetland Trust garden

The Wildfowl and Wetland Trust garden - Credit: Archant

“We are delighted for Jeni, our staff and volunteers,” said WWT spokesman Peter Morris. “If this garden makes one family think about how they recycle their water and turn it into something that is beautiful for them and for nature, then our job will have been done.”

Winning gold was “particularly emotional” for Paul Hervey-Brookes, as family illness had prevented him from being fully involved in the build. Instead, most of the planting was done by friends and colleagues in the industry.

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“I was really touched that people put themselves out to make it happen.”

Paul Hervey-Brookes

Paul Hervey-Brookes - Credit: Archant

His contemporary take on a classic English garden echoed the Dog Trust’s blue and yellow colours and featured a large pavilion that will be re-sited at one of its homes. There were also dog sculptures in wire and bright yellow powder-coated metal.

In a first for the RHS show, the Trust brought some of its rescue dogs onto the garden to try out the dog-friendly features, including drinking spouts, tunnels and ‘sniffer’ tracks through the densely planted borders.

Anne Milner

Anne Milner - Credit: Archant

“It’s been a pleasure working with Paul because he really understands dogs,” said Trust spokeswoman Ziela Haider. “He was able to interpret our brief in a fantastic way.”

Meanwhile, iris grower Anne Milner, from Baunton near Cirencester, was showcasing her National Collection of Bliss iris and promoting her new book on the story behind the flowers.

The show runs until July 10. More information is available from www.rhs.org.uk/hamptoncourt

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