ALTON is to field a second garden at this year's Hampton Court Flower Show. Joining the success of Alton Infants School, local garden designer Sarah Harvey and Selborne resident Geraldine Dawson, have won a place to exhibit their "Garden for Hampshire", inspired by the work of local naturalist Gilbert White. Entitled "Selborniensis", meaning "of Selborne", the garden pays tribute to Gilbert White and his work by creating a place of retreat and beauty in which to experiment with different seeds and plants. According to Sarah: "It is a garden for gardeners to watch things grow." Children in years four and five at Anstey Junior School are participating in the project by trialling different varieties of cucumber seeds and recording the results, which will then be displayed on a laptop in the garden. Head gardener at The Wakes in Selborne, David Standing, has also worked in close collaboration with the project which includes as many plants as possible that Gilbert White would have known. It's a real community effort, Sarah told The Herald: "The garden has become an exciting way for local landscapers and nurserymen, as well as artists and craftsmen to be involved in what is one of the most prestigious garden events on the British calendar." Guy Bagshaw of the English Garden Carpentry Company is supplying oak blocks for the pathway and has designed and built a seat based on Gilbert White's "wine-pipe". Local coppicer Andrew Birnie is supplying chestnut poles and hazel hurdles for the fencing, textile designer Judith Venn is making a throw to go in the seat, and husband Ian - a ceramicist, is designing and making finials and a variety of pots, including a large focal pot for the central bed. Selborne artist Caroline Rye is helping to build a clay/straw wall for the garden. Of the garden Sarah said: "Gilbert White didn't have a lot of money so he had to improvise. This garden will be designed to be achievable – to make people think, I could do that myself." Having said that, Sarah and Geraldine are desperate to secure more sponsorship to make sure the Selborne garden makes it to Hampton Court. They need to raise in the region of three to £5k, to pay for a landscape designer to help them with the construction of the garden which will begin on June 18, with the show running from July 2 to 7. Anyone able to help should contact them on 01420 87232 or 01420 511767.
Town doubles up at Hampton show
Thursday 10th May 2007 10:00 pm