The Chronicles of Narnia was one of the books of my childhood, it’s a classic and I hope it’s regarded in the same way for children today. The most classic, or the classic-ist of the series, surely has to be The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and so there had to be a wardrobe in this Beautiful Border at Gardeners’ World Live last year. And thankfully there was.
It turned out to be a smart move as complete with mirrors, false perspective trellis, vertical bedded walls and the top it provided a lot more space and height than many of the other borders at the show. Of course the ice queen and her surroundings are comprised of the white, silver and blue plants, cool enough to make you shiver.
It was a border that was packed, and packed with plenty of my favourite plants. These white astrantias and as I walked further around the border - and not through the wardrobe - the much warmer colours of the red hot pokers and gazanias.
The garden was designed by Derby College and sponsored by the Derby Branch of the MS Society, and was clearly popular with everyone who clamoured around it to see more, to experience the Narnia-factor for themselves.
Stepping back the garden just worked, it transported any of us that knew the story but also worked for those only just discovering Narnia. The bigger picture only worked though, as in life, by ensuring the detail was correct too.
The slate on its slide representing a stream of trickling water, and as ever with these borders it makes use of plants that are easily accessible: hostas, roses, lobelia and I think I can spy some alyssum in the photo below too.
Isn’t it great? And doesn’t it make you want to re-read the books?