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See Tatton on BBC2 with Monty Don and friends: Thurs 21 July (7.30-8pm) and Fri 22 July (8-8.30pm). Times subject to change

Displaying cutting edge art & garden design

I dreamed of the promised land Best Visionary GardenChallenging, complex and innovative gardens that break the mould are featured in the Visionary Gardens category.  Mixing art and garden design, the gardens draw inspiration from a wide range of sources including abstract art and industrial heritage.  They are imaginative, stimulating and beautiful.

The Visionary Gardens at Tatton in 2011 include:

Fairy Tale Garden (Red Shoes)

Sheena Seeks, an experienced Tatton designer, creates a mysterious representation of the visual portrayal of women and the way in which they are seen in today's society.

Inspired by fairy tales, Sheena hopes to intrigue with a timber hut - red on the outside, black inside.  It houses 100 pairs of red shoes, to represent the a female presence, and is surrounded by grass and brightly painted trees - like a clearing in a dark forest.  A male presence is suggested by an axe.  The cryptic design is symbolic of how Sheena believes women are portrayed - seen, but not always understood.

Do Not Step Over the Fence

 Jon Tilley likes to raise awareness for a charitable cause with his designs, such as the work of the Teenage Cancer Trust with his 2008 Show Garden ‘Punk’s Not Dead’, for which he won a silver medal. This year is no different. After being shocked by an article regarding HIV spreading fast amongst the more mature adult population, John chose this as the subject for his 2011 Visionary Garden. He is supported by the HIV charity Avert.

The design itself is a horticultural representation of an HIV virus cell. The garden is created using box and Ligustrum balls surrounded by lavender, all sweeping round large rocks on a spherical sub structure.

Metamorphosis 2

The first of three designs from Glyndwr University, Metamorphosis 2, by course lecturer Peter Styles, is a thought-provoking sculptural design and a garden of dramatic colour contrasts. Taking inspiration from Hollywood Neo-Noire film Sin City and its unique colour style, the garden is based on the idea of a dull monochromatic landscape transformed into a colourful display of flowering plants by a powerful energy source. As the energy strands touch the monochromatic plants they are transformed into yellow, orange or green.  

The Relief Garden

After helping her fellow Glyndwr University students make their designs a reality at last year’s show, Sarah Rule's own garden is based on the work of abstract painter Ben Nicholson, using circular shapes and a bold selection of colour; white, green, yellow, red, blue.

Using sustainable materials and crushed sea shells as gravel, Sarah hopes that in addition to offering an enjoyable visual experience, she can show visitors what they can achieve in their own garden if there are limited to space.

Points of Ayr

Craig T Bailey is currently studying for a degree in landscape design at Glyndwr University. Originally from Staffordshire, while at university Craig lives in Clwyd near to the Point of Ayr. This, the northern-most point of mainland Wales, provided him with inspiration for his design, and he has conveyed the natural and industrial heritage of Point of Ayr.

Craig has based his design on the natural colours and shapes of the sand dunes, the gas pipelines that stretch out to sea, and the constantly burning gas flames which dominate the skyline above the Point of Ayr. 

‘Ndota Igihugu Cy’isezerano’ (‘I Dream of the Promised Land’)

Bill Butterworth’s 2011 garden is a representation of a Rwandan refugee’s flight to freedom. The design illustrates survival through a desperate struggle to ‘follow the light’ in pursuit of a ‘Promised land’, and portrays the way in which, as a result of genocide, people simply disappear, leaving only abandoned clothes and possessions.

The garden allows the visitor to experience momentarily a different reality that is fraught with hope as well as horror and equates to the 'Inner Jungle' of the refugee. Simulated jungle planting will surround and effectively screen the inner core of the garden. This will be composed from bamboo suited to conditions here, underplanted with ferns and other jungle floor species, together with palm and banana trees.

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