Afton Park Garden - First Prize at the Wight in Bloom competition.
Set within the orchard and meadow at Afton Park, the original garden was designed and built by Chris from 2001 to 2006 and attracted the attention of major magazines like Country Living and Gardens Illustrated. The gardens occupied an open area which was originally a flat and windswept field. Chris created a series of garden 'rooms' by using hedging, fences and plants as boundaries. But she also embraced the location by using plants that enjoy sunlight, were tolerant to drought and provided movement in the wind.
Chris Barnes won Gold for her 'Island Garden' at the 2005 New Forest Show.
The Island Garden was designed to represent the Isle of Wight with its walks
and trails and it featured an ornamental wildflower meadow and a seaside gravel
garden separated by a path and signposted 'The Freshwater way'. Chris was
aided by Island Daylily expert Jan Wyers with support from 'Green Island Coordinator'
Steve Blamire, Rural Ways and Wightlink. The Gold Medal is all the more surprising
as they had only two weeks to design, plan and build the 225 sq foot garden,
after an exhibitor was forced to pull out.
"I wanted to create a display where the boundaries between the garden and the countryside are blurred," explained Chris. " There isn't much hard landscaping as I like to let the plants do the talking."
The reaction to the garden at the show was very positive with many people taking photographs. "I think people can relate to this garden and that is why they like it so much." says Chris.