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Robert Barker Design – Garden and Landscape Design in London and Cambridge


From Crayon to Reality

Robert Barker

In September the RHS sent an email to garden designers to inform them that the application process was open for showcasing a garden at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. At first I hesitated but then a concept came to mind and with one of my daughters crayons (I was sitting at the table drawing with her at the time) I quickly drew a design. The design has changed in many ways since that day but the essence of that drawing is how the garden will look in July.

The design is inspired by an ancient Chinese myth called the Red Thread of Fate. It is believed that when we are born the gods have tied every one of our ankles with a red thread and attached it to all the people whose lives we're destined to touch. This thread may stretch or tangle, but it'll never break.

To tell the story of this modern interpretation of the myth, two character posts are connected to a six post central feature with red cotton thread in a dramatic pattern. This central feature and pattern represents the complex journey destiny can take to connect two people.

The combination of the red thread feature and the textural planting will convey a simple message with a striking theatrical atmosphere. With planned visitor interaction the concept will leave a mark on the visitor and the visitor will leave a mark on the concept.

The garden is part funded by the RHS, Terraforma Landscapes and myself.

Dave Root and the team at Kelways Nursery are supplying the plants.