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By Pattie Barron
The Awards are in! The coveted Gold, Silver-Gilt and Silver medals have been awarded to Chelsea's Show Gardens and, perhaps because it's centenary year, there are no lacklustre Bronze medals. In fact, for the first time, 10 show gardens were awarded RHS Gold medals. Everybody is a winner - but who has what? Take a look, and see if you share the judge's opinion.
TRAILFINDERS AUSTRALIAN GARDEN: designed by Fleming's Nurseries
Melbourne designer Philip Johnson creates an exuberant Australian landscape that focusses on water management and natural habitat gardening - that is a real crowd pleaser. Not surprisingly, this won the highest award and is a great note for Fleming's Nurseries final hoorah at Chelsea - they've exhibited nine times at the show in the past, and won five gold medals - though maybe after this accolade, they might reconsider! Other gold medal winners THE TELEGRAPH GARDEN: designed by Christopher Bradley-Hole
Christopher Bradley-Hole's beautifully restrained garden, more about architecture and sculpture than plants, not suprisingly won a Gold medal. However the word from the crowd is that as a back garden, you might get tired of the never-changing landscape.... THE WASTELAND: designed by Kate Gould
Unusually, acclaimed designer Kate Gould sponsored her own garden - and it paid off, gleaning her a Gold. The Wasteland depicts a garden that has been created from discarded materials, giving them a new lease of life. Who could imagine that the charming filigree wall was created from old shopping trolleys? THE LAURENT-PERRIER GARDEN: designed by Ulf Nordfjell
Cool, elegant and contemporary, the Laurent-Perrier Garden unites the classic styles of French and English landscaping with the sure signature of Swedish landscape architect Ulf Nordfjell. A great garden to wander in...but where are the seats? THE M&G CENTENARY GARDEN - 'WINDOWS THROUGH TIME': designed by Roger Platts
No surprises here - Roger Platts' gorgeous garden celebrates the last hundred years of England's gardening heritage, and somehow manages to embrace different styles from cottage-garden to prairie planting, without cluttering the space. THE HOMEBASE GARDEN 'SOWING THE SEEDS OF CHANGE': designed by Adam Frost
A hand-crafted working wooden beehive is just one of the charming and useful features on this quintessential family garden from designer Adam Frost. Designed with a small family in mind, the garden provides the space to emjoy an everyday connection with food - many of the plants are edibles - and with nature. THE BREWIN DOLPHIN GARDEN: designed by Robert Myers
Although this is decidedly a crisp, modernist garden, many of the plants used are British natives, showing that you can mix wildflowers with garden cultivars, with great results. Robert Myers' fresh take on a central lawn is worth noting: squares of grass edge a looser centre of topiaried box cushions surrounded by long deschampsia grass. A sure-fire Gold. THE ARTHRITIS RESEARCH UK GARDEN: designed by Chris Beardshaw
Chris Beardshaw's love of plants is obvious in this garden, and it is a pleasure among the abundance of green-and-white show gardens to see such a diversity of colour and texture, from the towering echiums to the dainty pink cranesbill geraniums. Surprisingly, many of the plants Chris has used are employed in the treatment of arthritis, eg borage, for its oil. RBC BLUE WATER ROOF GARDEN: designed by Nigel Dunnett and The Landscape Agency
My personal favourite, this garden is an eco-friendly urban rooftop garden that, says Professor Dunnett, explores the potential of skyrise greening - to bring trees, meadows and wetlands into the heart of the city. Pictured is the central wetland area that captures rainwater run-off. THE EAST VILLAGE GARDEN: designed by Michael Balson and Marie-Louise Agius
The ambitious theme of this garden is to reflect the 'designed for living' theme of East Village, E20 - formerly the Olympic athletes village - and soon to be London's newest neighbourhood when it opens later this year. Local references are picked up in the boundary, structures and planting, right down to the curving lines and leaf forms. Meanwhile, those white arum lilies, viewed close-up, are just gorgeous. Silver-gilt awards B&Q SENTEBALE FORGET-ME-NOT GARDEN: designed by Jinny Blom
Not all show gardens are blueprints for our own gardens, and this garden, designed by landscape and garden designer Jinny Blom, together with Prince Harry who co-founded the charity Sentebale with Prince Seeiso of Lesotho, aims to educate us about Lesotho's 'Forgotten Kingdom' and Sentebale's role in supporting vulnerable children. Interesting to see how the usual garden building and seating area are interpreted! THE SEEABILITY GARDEN: designed by Darren Hawkes
The garden's theme is sight loss, and has been created to raise awareness about the effects of visual impairment, but even if you take it at face value, the easy-to-read block planting and interesting feature walls make it a worthy urban garden. STOCKTON DRILLING'S 'AS NATURE INTENDED' GARDEN: designed by Jamie Dunstan
Jamie Dunstan's brave missive is to promote the use of natural materials and crafts as well as highlight the ways in which mankind has exploited nature over the years, becoming heavily reliant on natural resources. The stuff that looks like overlong grass, surrounding the woven willow sculptures? It's winter barley, used, of course, in the brewing industry. Silver awards STOKE-ON-TRENT'S STORY OF TRANSFORMATION: designed by the landscape team of Stoke-On-Trent City Council
This unique, ambitious and rather fabulous garden tells the story of Stoke-on-Trent's journey from its rich industrial past to its present incarnation as a modern and vibrant city. That big structure represents a pottery bottle kiln and in contrast, a sunken seated area references the contemporary living spaces being created in Stoke-on-Trent. STOP THE SPREAD GARDEN: sponsored by the Food And Environment Research Agency and designed by Jo Thompson
This garden is inspired by a powerful message: our plants, trees and wildlife are under threat from pests, diseases and invasive non-native species, which could have a huge impact on our gardens, woodlands and countryside. Although parts of the garden symbolise the devastation that can be caused, this is a space of quiet beauty. The central sculpture, made so you can walk through the centre, was designed by sculptor Tom Stogdon. Photographs by Bethany Clarke
With standing ovations every night, the phenomenal WE WILL ROCK YOU continues to go from strength to strength at the Dominion Theatre. This mega-musical, seen by over 5 million people, includes 32 of Queen's classic hits, including Killer Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody, Radio Ga Ga, and more. One dream... one vision... one smash hit - book today!
Moonwalking into the West End after three acclaimed UK tours and standing ovations across Europe, Thriller - Live is a spectacular, high octane show celebrating the career Michael Jackson, and the Jackson 5!
One of the most exciting, gripping and successful theatre events ever staged, The Woman In Black is now in its twentieth year in the West End. Unanimously critically acclaimed, Stephen Mallatratt's adaptation of Susan Hill's best-selling novel at the Fortune Theatre combines the power and intensity of live theatre with a cinematic quality inspired by film noir - book now!
Following a sell-out run at the Menier Chocolate Factory, the stunning musical revival of Merrily We Roll Along by Stephen Sondheim and George Furth embarks on an exclusive 12 week season at the Harold Pinter theatre from 23 April.
Hitchcock meets hilarious in this innovative, award-winning comedy at the Criterion Theatre. Based on the John Buchan novel and Alfred Hitchcock's 1935 film adaptation, this astonishing theatrical tour-de-force is performed by just four actors essaying 139 roles. The 39 Steps await you, so book today!
Two unspoken themes run throughout Britten’s much-admired opera: the impossible passion that a troubled writer forms for a fellow hotel guest, and the cholera epidemic which the authorities are all too keen to hush up.
THE BODYGUARD, based on the smash-hit film which starred Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston, is currently wowing audiences at the ADELPHI THEATRE, London starring HEATHER HEADLEY as Rachel Marron & LLOYD OWEN as Frank Farmer.
Holed up at The Cricketers' Arms, the permanently ravenous Francis spots the chance of an extra meal ticket and takes a second job with one Stanley Stubbers, who is hiding from the police and waiting to be re-united with Rachel. To prevent discovery, Francis must keep his two guvnors apart. Simple.
The Commitments, Roddy Doyle’s best-selling novel, is now live on stage for the very first time. Be the first to experience the show as it makes its World Premiere at the Palace Theatre in London’s West End this September.
Based on Peter Stephan Jungk’s novel and written by Philip Glass, one of the world’s most important composers, The Perfect American imagines the final years of Walt Disney’s life, including mythical imaginings of Abraham Lincoln and Andy Warhol.
Winner of 90 international awards, Wicked has been casting its magical spell over audiences of all ages across the world for a decade and continues to be a record-breaking hit at London’s Apollo Victoria Theatre, where it is already the 16th longest-running West End musical of all time.
One of the UK’s foremost Magicians and close up magic star Steve Truglia amazes London’s West End Audiences with classic card tricks, cheats and scams in this unique and interactive multimedia show, with film, images music and live camera action, to bring close up magic to every audience member.
ROCK OF AGES is the new 'absurdly enjoyable rock musical' (New York Times). A world wide smash hit, it features a raucous mix of 28 classic rock hits including 'Don't Stop Believin', 'We Built This City', 'The Final Countdown', 'Wanted Dead or Alive' and 'Here I Go Again'.
Disney's musical phenomenon THE LION KING continues to captivate audiences of all ages. Combining dazzling staging and highly imaginative costumes, masks and puppets, this astonishing show at the Lyceum Theatre uses breathtaking theatrical magic to tell the story of Simba - join him now in his epic journey to reclaim his kingdom!
Maxim Gorky’s darkly comic play is set in Russia as the country rolls towards revolution. It depicts the new middle-class, foolish yet likable, as they flounder about, philosophising and flirting, blind to their impending annihilation.
This spectacular theatrical concert from award-winning director Mitch Sebastian (The Rat Pack Live from Las Vegas) features songs from the West End, Broadway and beyond in breath-taking theatrical style, backed by a full live band and choir.
ZooNation’s Some Like It Hip Hop has been a runaway success since it hit the Peacock Theatre in 2011, wowing audiences and prompting widespread critical praise with five-star reviews and standing ovations.
The Two’s Company production of LONDON WALL by John Van Druten transfers to the St. James Theatre, for a limited run. In a solicitor’s office, Brewer, the office manager, sees pretty new typist Pat as fair game, even though she is a green 19 and going steady with a reliable boyfriend. Some of the more experienced secretaries try to warn her. Others leave her to her fate. Meanwhile, cynical Miss Janus is jilted by her lover and at the desperate age of 35 her romantic life seems to be over.
As London's river travel specialists we provide commuters with a hassle free journey to and from work and offer the capital's many visitors a unique way of sightseeing., operating fast modern boats over the key central stretch of the river between Central London and Canary Wharf, Greenwich and now beyond to Woolwich.
Top Hat, WINNER of 3 Laurence Olivier awards including Best New Musical, and WINNER of the Evening Standard Best Night Out award, brings the glamour of Hollywood’s golden age and the glorious, tap-dancing magic of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers to the West End in one of the greatest dance musicals of all time.