Experts head for Cotswolds

Shrubs, so often part of the supporting cast rather than the star of a garden, will be thrust firmly into the spotlight at a Cotswold lecture in April.

Chelsea gold medal-winning designer, author and plantsman Andy McIndoe will be showing how choosing the right shrubs can transform your plot.

Andy McIndoe
Andy McIndoe will be talking about shrubs

Andy, who masterminded Hillier Nursery’s 25 gold medal displays at the world famous show, is giving the first in a series of lectures by celebrity gardeners and experts.

The talks are being run by luxury garden shop Allomorphic, which opens in Stroud in March. There are also workshops on offer covering everything from garden design to how to draw.

The business has been set up by award-winning designer and RHS judge Paul Hervey-Brookes who says the opening talk promises to be a lively affair.

“Andy is known to many for his colourful shirts when interviewed on the RHS Chelsea coverage,” says Paul. “I am anticipating his talk to be as wild and flamboyant with a good dose of humour.”

In May, the secrets of the head gardener will be revealed when Benjamin William Pope from Trotton Place discusses ‘The Working Garden’. Trotton, a private estate, was designed by Chelsea gold medalist Arne Maynard and features stunning perennial planting and a large walled, working kitchen garden.

Benjamin William Pope
Head gardener Benjamin William Pope

“Ben will share his passion for getting the very best from a garden with us and revealing his top secrets to glorious success,” says Paul, who is busy planning a show garden for Hampton Court Flower Show in July.

Other speakers in the series include Bob Brown, of Cotswold Garden Flowers, Michaelmas daisy expert Helen Picton, and Rosie Hardy, of Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants, who is building her first show garden at Chelsea this year. The talks, priced at £12.50, include wine and nibbles, and a series discount is available.

Bob Brown
Bob Brown of Cotswold Garden Flowers

Running alongside the monthly lectures are day and short courses including DIY wedding flowers and floral arrangements inspired by woodland, how to revamp your border, and the basics of drawing using the techniques of the old masters.

Full details and booking are available at http://www.allomorphic.co.uk/

Designer plans luxury shop

Award-winning Cotswold designer Paul Hervey-Brookes and sculptor Yann Eshkol are opening a luxury garden shop in Stroud next month.

Allomorphic will stock up-market gardening accessories, one-off pieces and bespoke items designed by Paul, who has previously produced a range of gardening products for Marks and Spencer.

Paul Hervey-Brookes
Paul Hervey-Brookes, left, and Yann Eshkol

“The current retail model is a little stale and increasingly consumers are looking for personalised style and pieces which stand out as unique,” said Paul, who has won top awards at shows across the world including Chelsea.

The store will also host a series of monthly lectures by leading garden experts, including Rosemary Hardy of Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants and Cotswold Garden Flowers founder Bob Brown.

There will also be workshops covering floristry, outdoor dining and garden design and the shop will offer a floristry service for weddings and events.