University College Falmouth’s Gold Winning entry to the Hampton Court Flower Show’s Conceptual Gardens Category, ‘A Fable for Tomorrow’ serves as both a cautionary tale and a celebration of the Cornish landscape, from cliff top to sand dune. The Garden was designed by Sue Radmore, Scarlet Wheaton and Elektra Sanders of University College Falmouth. One of our Directors, Lachlan McDonald provided the structural design and Ian Sayer & Co. managed the project.
The garden design champions how seed banks act as modern day Noah’s Arks for plants, assisting in saving native flora from extinction and preserving biodiversity. An old, tall and circular Cornish seed bank has been split in two with the halves held back by copper core walls to reveal the treasures stored within. The central walkway is lined by banks of seeds, some of which have spilled out to germinate around pools that reflect light from the copper.
The Cornish sand dunes are also celebrated as the garden is colonised by wild flowers in a mass of colour reminiscent of the fragile, coastal dune ecosystems found in the County. As there are no fences or walls to mark the boundaries of the plot, these are felt through the change of terrain from turf to sand underfoot.
Phil Clayton, features editor and Chris Young, deputy editor of The Garden, a RHS journal, stated that the entry had “A strong design and message” adding that; “The fragility of nature is very apparent in this garden. With its mostly maritime planting of thrift and other seaside plants, this garden is a lesson in ecology more than anything else.”