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Tuesday, 22 September 2009

SL Chelsea Garden Contest

The gardens built for the SL Chelsea competition were wonderful, and it was the hardest thing to judge. The theme was ‘Secret Garden’ and people really used their imaginations, bringing a mixture of beautiful traditional gardens and awe inspiring new concepts to the meaning of ‘hidden’! Hibiscus and I were judging, and we both had our own opinions, wishing we could give prizes to everyone who entered, as they all had something that made them winners.

The first prize was awarded to the lovely walled garden with the laburnum arches made by Estelle Parnall, I truly picturesque private gated garden to relax in. Second prize went to Lily Brooks for her tranquil setting, complete with a pond and bench surrounded by flowers. The third place had been a joint entry by Lily and Isobel Byron, a pretty little walled garden with archways and a winding path.

Because of an error on my part, Spurt Renoir should have been named as joint second with his really brilliant maze, please accept my apologies Spurt! (The situation has now been rectified). Spurt’s garden was completely unique, you couldn’t walk into the maze, you had to enter it by using your camera and finding your way around from there, Hibiscus and I both loved it. Spurt had put little posters inside for people to read as they tried to find their way to the centre of the maze. Spurt had another garden, which intrigued me, a round semi transparent wall with multi coloured balls inside.

There was a gazebo with a winding path and relaxation area by Hillary Davi which would look good on anyone’s land, even a rooftop garden would be a lovely place for this one.

Isobel Byron had a mysterious metal box that you could enter through a letterbox, bringing you into a sweetly paved courtyard which had access to a hidden round shaped sunny garden with bright blue skies.

Aeneas Beaumont’s talent as a designer shone through with his inspirational starlit boxed garden, it was another really great new idea, you finally found an opening in the wall, where you could spy a little pink treasure chest, complete with key, it was open and inside was the garden with it’s miniature landscape.

I loved Gerr Finesmith’s garden, a Taj Mahal shaped structure with it’s little formal garden in the courtyard below, a real stunner! Also Wiccy Shackleton’s courtyard garden was very pleasing to the eye, he used the lighting to great effect and the curved wall inside made it a grand design.

Lily had another walled garden with running water making up part of the walls, which had high stone arches, this was also very well designed.

The event was a good example of just how many talented people we have in SL London and how they can use their imaginations to create such beautiful objects. I would like to thank Chelsea Manager Rails Bailey for asking Hibiscus and I to judge the contest and also a big thank you to all those who took part.

Janey Bracken

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