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The Secret is Out

Posted by Jean Vernon on 06 Jul 2008 at 04:40 PM

Secret gardens are a bit like Christmas presents, they look fantastic in all their wrapping but can be a bit disappointing when you've taken off the paper to reveal what's really beneath. Through the door of the Croft Spot Secret Garden is a tranquil but fairly ordinary space; a neat lawn and some clipped topiary. It's secluded, it's private and it's simple. The wrapping however is much more interesting. This inner sanctum is surrounded by a loose bamboo hedge that softens the formality of the secret space giving it a lived in/loved in reality. It's seasoned with agapanthus, in soft blues and white that softens the effect further.

Outside the planting is a bit more exciting. The path leads through an informal but colourful collection of borders and plants.


Designer David Domoney describes it as a garden within a garden. "It's a journey, a mystery that combines romance and intrigue into a garden space. A loose theme of globes with trained topiary. I wanted to have formality mixed with informality."

He likens his garden to a childhood visit to Santa. "You have a little journey before you get there," he says. "It's a game of discovery, adding depth and space before you get to Santa."

"Bamboo is an acoustic plant, you get the sound of the wind rustling through the leaves which gives a feeling of tranquility."

"I think we've chosen a good theme. I've had a walk up and down and everything else seems quite formal - there's a lot of angles and straight lines. We aim to stand out from the others and we are enjoying using curves and rounded edges. That's what people come to Hampton Court Palace Flower Show for, they want to be inspired. If there are lots of different designs and styles, then there is bound to be something for everyone."



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