I interviewed Surrey based Garden Designer David Neale, of NealeRichards Garden Design, for the November 2015 edition of Vantage Point Magazine. During this interview David Neale spoke about his hopes for the future, and his ambition to design and build a garden for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. I caught up with David earlier this year, when I was thrilled to discover that David’s dreams have come true! As you’re reading this article, David is now at Chelsea, building the Silent Pool Gin Garden, which David designed for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018!
David particularly wanted to work with Silent Pool Distillers. He lives in a nearby Surrey village, and had noticed many parallels between Silent Pool’s ethos and the motivation behind NealeRichards Garden Design – they both use high quality products, pay great attention to detail, and are very customer focused. Both companies really care about their work, taking pride in the quality of their finished products.
Realising that we all need a place to relax and unwind from the stresses of our daily lives, David designed The Silent Pool Gin Garden as an urban retreat for a professional couple, living in the city. It’s a space to recharge and enjoy a drink together, filled with water and beautiful plants, set under the canopy of native, multi stemmed trees, built with quality, UK sourced, sustainable materials.
David has taken inspiration both from Silent Pool’s gin making processes, and the company’s alluring location in his design. The Silent Pool Gin Garden features a raised pool that ebbs and flows into a reflective pool below. This is reminiscent of the pools at the company’s base within the Surrey Hills. Silent Pool use their water in the distillation process, and they use copper gin distillation helmets and oak timber too, so David will be using these materials in the garden.
The boardwalks in the Silent Pool Gin Garden were inspired by the boardwalks at Thursley National Nature Reserve, an area that’s close to David’s heart, as he used to live nearby. David sourced the sustainable English oak for the Silent Pool Gin Garden from Norbury Park, which is part of the Surrey Wildlife Trust.
The design of Silent Pool’s bottle, with its elegant floral pattern, denoting the 24 botanicals that go into the making of their gin has also influenced the garden’s design. You’ll be able to see some of the gin’s ingredients, including chamomile and Angelica archangelica growing in the garden.
Orris root, or iris root is another ingredient that goes into Silent Pool gin, hence Iris fulva will feature in the planting. Iris fulva produces intensely coppery coloured flowers, which also references the copper used in the distilling process used to make Silent Pool gin.
I am so happy that David Neale has realised his Chelsea ambition, I cannot wait to see his garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show!
To see photographs of the Silent Pool Garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018, please click here.
To read my full pre-Chelsea 2018 interview with Garden Designer David Neale, where you can find out more about David’s design, his inspiration and ideas for the garden, the suppliers he’s using, and you can see David’s original plans for the Silent Pool Gin Garden, please click here.
To see photographs of the garden that David Neale designed for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019, please click here.
This article was first published in the May 2018 edition of Vantage Point Magazine.
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