The Flow Garden at BBC Gardeners' World Live

Paving the way to success at BBC Gardeners' World Live

By Lucinda Parish, October 09

Paving the way to success at BBC Gardeners' World Live

Four months ago the whirlwind subsided and ‘The Flow Garden’ was finally built, planted, painted, polished and ready for judgement. The hectic lead up to the build, with large-scale carpentry taking over the garage at home, was test enough – but once the project was on site, the real challenges began.

Being first timers at the show garden scene, we had opted for a traditional build which meant our garden was excavated far more than those of our contemporaries. This took a lot more time and man power and left us falling behind from day one!

But gradually, the pieces of the puzzle started to appear.

First, the sandstone walling planters were installed…then, the water feature with its Scottish Cobble rill, then finally, the sharp lines of the Natural Porphyry paving setts and larger Natural Porphyry paving slabs appeared.

The whole design was laid in parallel strips of Bradstone materials, which sat effortlessly together and gave great contrasting textures. The benching rose out of these strips and then dropped down into the ground to become a step, or rose out of the ground again to become a seat with canopy.

The detail achieved with the paving was of the highest standard – with incredibly precise workmanship that showcased the products at their best.

The planting colour palette was a simple mix of whites, limes, purples and silvers that would enjoy a well-drained and sunny spot. Colours in the planting also picked up the warm colours of the Natural Porphyry paving with hints of reds and browns.

To our amazement, the garden scooped an RHS Gold Medal and Best Metamorphosis Garden!  The judges were very complimentary about the garden and the finish that we achieved – as was Joe Swift when he described the garden to viewers on BBC Two's primetime TV show, Gardeners' World!

Throughout the show, visitors commented on the planting, design and materials, many of them keen to re-create a little bit of the show at home with some Porphyry paving or Scottish cobbles.

It was a truly fantastic experience, made possible by the sponsorship of my fantastic landscapers Woodstone Landscaping and with materials supplied by Bradstone. These are not just any hard landscaping products - they are high quality and look great. Thank you Bradstone!

However, the work is not over yet. Many of the Bradstone products from the show garden are being re-used in a sensory garden for the charity Guide Dogs, in Leamington Spa. Lucinda Parish Gardens are currently designing the garden, which aims to provide a stimulating environment for visually impaired visitors, with a mix of textures, scents and sounds! With braille signage, the visitors should be able to pick up ideas of what they could do in their own gardens at home. It is a very humbling project and a pleasure to be involved in!


Based in Surrey and Kent, Lucinda Parish trained at RHS Wisely and recently won 'Best in Category' at the BBC Gardeners' World Live show.

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