Year of Light Gardens

Gardening and technology came together at Tatton Park in 2015: we highlight three innovative gardens inspired by light

The International Year of Light, a global occasion for 2015 launched by the United Nations as a year-long series of events, highlights the importance of this vital energy source to our daily lives, in medicine, exploration, agriculture and entertainment. To mark the occasion, three designers at RHS Flower Show Tatton Park 2015 created their interpretations of gardening with light.

Light Catcher by Sharon Hockenhull

Garden design detail from Light Catcher by Sharon HockenhullLight Catcher showed how harnessing natural light can create drama and ambience outdoors. Materials with reflective qualities were used to create a contemplative and soothing space.

Plants that catch light were used: shimmering grasses Deschampsia cespitosa 'Goldtau' (tufted hair grass) and Briza media mix with taller, structural perennials Echinops bannaticus 'Taplow Blue' and Agastache 'Blue Fortune'. A colour scheme of irridescent purple and blue hues created a haze of luminosity that alters and moves.

Sharon is a multi-RHS award-winning garden designer and landscaper based in the North West.

Quantum of Light by Leon Davis

Garden design detail from Quantum of Light by Leon DavisQuantum of Light was a visual rendering of an image created by the Large Hadron Collider: the energy from an atom following a particle collision, which then emits a quantum of light. A colour palette of red, blue and yellow flowering plants created an 'energy flash'.

Intense violet blues of Salvia × sylvestris 'Mainacht', deep reds from Achillea millefolium 'Red Velvet' and strong, yellow Rudbeckia fulgida 'Early Bird Gold 'Goldstar' were planted in dynamic shapes to recreate this event.

Leon Davis is an award-winning landscape architect and garden designer from the North West.

Reflecting Photonics by Elks-Smith Landscape and Garden Design

Reflecting Photonics reflected the world-leading research into light-transmitting optical fibre by the University of Southampton.

The pavilion and roof was a light-filled structure. Fibre optic glass 'drops' were set into the floor and the 'wave-form' path reflected light refracting. The trees, Sorbus aria 'Lutescens', and the planting were in cool shades, building to a vibrant colour spectrum. Paler Philadelphus maculatus 'Sweet Claire' or Dicentra 'Aurora' crescendoed into bright plants such as Helenium 'Sahins early flowerer' and Nandina domestica 'Lemon Lime'.

Elks-Smith Landscape and Garden Design is an award-winning collective from Hampshire.

RHS Membership

Join the RHS

Members enjoy early booking and discounted tickets to RHS Shows.

Join the RHS

Get involved

We're a UK charity established to share the best in gardening. We want to enrich everyone's life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.