Intriguing, creative, imaginative and WOW were some of the comments from Carolyn Hardern, who kindly came to judge the Southport Flower Show’s ‘u3a Design a Garden’ competition.
Garden designs were invited from UK u3a members. The design brief was for a 6m x 6m garden, suitable fora u3a member, to be environmentally friendly and with an unlimited budget.
Entrants were requested to let their imagination run wild – a title used by one of the competition entries. Significant effort had been made by the entrants and the judging took many hours. Carolyn carefully reviewed and awarded points for Brief, Overall Impression, Overall Design, Construction and Planting, all details which had been requested on the application form. In the end the scores were very close.
On the first day of the show, the winner will be presented with two VIP tickets for the 100th Anniversary Southport Flower Show in 2024, together with the much coveted ‘u3a Watering Can Trophy’ in u3a Blue and Gold. Overall, Carolyn was very impressed with the garden designs and the thought put into them, saying that everyone should be congratulated on the standard of the entries.
The use of hanging Egg Chairs in some of the designs had Carolyn wondering at the athleticism of our u3a members. Having tried one out at the Chelsea Show earlier this year, it had taken two of her friends to help her out of it and felt it a bit too challenging for a relaxed G & T.
Carolyn is quite a character and has become a highly successful garden designer as much for her personality as her skill. Supporting various charities, she was co-designer, with Jon Jarvis, of the garden which won Best in Show for ‘Constructing Minds’ at RHS Tatton in July and which was featured recently on Gardeners World. The queues to see this magnificent garden were constant. She has also designed the ‘Menopause Garden’ at the entrance to Southport Flower Show this year.
Each of the designs, together with their descriptions, will be on show at the Southport Flower Show from August 17th to 20th.