The Water Station Garden by Pepa s Krasa
This ‘Fresh Garden’ was awarded a Silver-Gilt Medal by the Royal Horticultural Society at the 2015 RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
The garden was designed by Borut Benedejčič
It was built by ProPepa
The Garden was sponsored by Marmor Sežana, Brezavšček d.o.o., Trajnice Carniola, Municipalities of Sežana, Tekstura d.o.o.
I met up with Stephen Ryan, a contractor who worked on the Water Station Garden to find out more about the concept behind this ‘Fresh Garden’ at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015.
Stephen Ryan: The designer is Slovenian, they’ve been to Chelsea before, 3 years ago, and got a silver-gilt then, a couple of years before that, they were at Hampton Court and got a gold, so they’ve really got some pedigree. The designer is based on the Italian border between Slovenia and Italy. The area there is the driest part of Europe, so the planting is very drought-tolerant. The area has very shallow soil, so all of these plants have been supplied with no water and virtually no soil, they look very very delicate, but actually it’s not that way at all, they’re really, really tough plants.
That’s really the metaphor about water, the fact that we think it’s plentiful, but in fact actually it’s quite a scarce resource in most parts of the world. The water station here is a modern version of the old-style places that people used to congregate around the well, so it’s a meeting place for people, but done in a very modern style. If you look at the stone decking here in fact, it’s in the shape of a heartbeat, it’s reinforcing the way that the cycle of water is a really important cycle of life. So it’s reinforcing the message that water is really important, without it there is no life.
PumpkinBeth: How long have you been here at Chelsea working on the garden?
Stephen Ryan: The garden took 8 days to build. Basically 8-9 days. All of the materials came from Slovenia with and were done by the designer, and yeah, a silver-gilt is probably, with a medium budget, is as good as you’re going to get. There are very few gardens under a hundred grand these days that will get gold.
Pumpkin Beth: Is there any information or knowledge about water that the Water Station Garden can pass on to visitors at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show?
Stephen Ryan: The reason why there are these cracks, these fissures around here, is that limestone is in fact itself has lots of cracks in it, so water just sort of goes through, so any water they actually do receive, any rainwater, goes straight through the soil into the ground. So any water in this area – in the summer it can be 300-400 meters deep, so hundreds of years ago they were collecting the water off grooves, and diverting them into wells, which is what we’re just thinking about now. But they were already doing it hundreds of years ago. So the new technologies that we think are new, actually they have a precedent for them, and we just need to lift them. It’s kind of like the idea of biodiversity, we’re trying to reinvent the wheel when it comes to things like medicine, when in fact nature provides a lot of these answers as well. Of course the stone is totally sustainable, if you move, you can pick it up and take it with you to your new house, so it’s much more sustainable than using wood, or concrete.
Other articles that may interest you…………
To read an interview with James Basson and find out more about his Gold Medal winning garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015, ‘A Perfumer’s Garden in Grasse by L’Occitane’ please click here.
To read an interview with Adam Frost and find out more about the Gold Medal winning Homebase Garden – An Urban Retreat, that Adam designed for the 2015 RHS Chelsea Flower Show, please click here.
To see all 20 shortlisted plants, including the finalists and winner of the RHS Chelsea Plant Of The Year 2015, please click here.
To read my interview with Chris Beardshaw and find out more about The Morgan Stanley Healthy Cities Garden, please click here.
To find out what happened to the Show Gardens at the 2015 RHS Chelsea Flower Show, after the show closed, please click here.
To find out about beautiful, historic and important gardens to visit in Surrey, Hampshire and Sussex, please click here.
For money saving offers and ideas for gardeners, including details of free garden visits, please click here.