If you could wave a magic wand to create your idea of a perfect garden, how would it look? What would you have growing within it? What special alchemy would you require to design your little corner of paradise?
Mine would have a quiet corner where I would sit in dappled shade surrounded by cool planting - euphorbias, hostas, myosotis and geraniums - and watch the wildlife bringing the garden to life, while listening to the gentlest trickling of water.
In bold contrast, there would be a sunny area to dazzle the eyes. There, I would sit and contemplate the beauty of the garden, in the way I might gaze at a masterpiece, where the passionate artist has put his heart and soul to work using a riot of colourful flowers to paint his canvas.
It would evoke in me the feeling of being somewhere special, where the designer has breathed life and meaning into it, and I would be touched by his inspiration. Such a garden would make my heart sing, because it would exude a touch of soul and romance.
The heady mix of colour and perfume from the flowers – roses, peonies, poppies, lupins, alliums, verbascums, delphiniums, lilies, digitalis, lupins and irises - would be intoxicating enough to have my imagination soaring upwards like a high-flying kite, and I would go home feeling transformed, because his creation would have worked its magic spell on me.
The inspirational garden, designed by Chris Beardshaw, won the coveted People’s Choice Award for Best Show Garden, because his masterpiece touched the hearts of tens of thousands of keen amateur gardeners who voted for him.
His creation certainly stole my heart, for, surely the proof of any lasting impact is that I should be writing about the strong feelings of inspiration it created in me long after leaving the garden.