Brilliant use of cast stone in 'People's Choice' Award-winning garden at The Chelsea Flower Show
With this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show now at an end and as each of the show gardens sadly gets dismantled, it’s worth recognising the less-publicised skill which went into creating some of the stunning gardens.
A great example is the stone structure in the ‘God's Own County – A Garden for Yorkshire’. Inspired by the medieval Great East Window at York Minster, the structure formed the centrepiece of the Matthew Wilson’s colourful garden – which won a silver medal and the ‘People’s Choice’ prestigious award.
As some garden designers and others in the industry might have realised, the structure wasn’t in fact crafted from quarried stone, even though it perfectly resembled it, but from cast stone – a process which allows intricate shapes to be created by using a mould filled with a precise matrix of loose materials, before being cured and allowed to set.
The cast stone was manufactured by the UK’s leader, Procter Cast Stone, and their sales manager, Simon Tibble, explains how the job came about and how he sees a growing role for cast stone in garden design.
“Earlier in the year, we were approached by Welcome to Yorkshire to see if we could help with the design and manufacture of the stone structure, plus other features, in their Chelsea garden. We’re based in Garforth, West Yorkshire, so I suppose our location along with renowned expertise in cast stone made us the perfect partner. We were delighted to help, and using only rough sketches as a starting point, we went on to design and manufacture the four turrets, 55 square metres of ashlar walling, the ‘laying down’ window, planters and benches.
“Of course cast stone has long been used by garden designers for stone features, but often just as standard products which, of course, limit creativity. Large custom-made structures formed from quarried stone are hugely expensive, but cast stone allows a much more cost-effective alternative. We’re seeing an increase in interest from garden designers in using cast stone for custom-made garden structures”.