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The Sculptor’s Picnic Garden

Gold and Best Artisan Garden

Bit tricky to capture a good pic of Graham Bodle’s atmospheric little woodland nook I’m afraid, so you’ll just have to take my word for it that this was an artisan garden with a quite remarkable sense of place.

For one thing, it reinvents the use of dwarf conifers where most have failed. If you thought pint-sized pines were best consigned to the 70s where they belong, I urge you to go take a look at this sparse, pared-down way of using them in the smallest of spaces.

The sculptural flattened sprays of Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Stoneham’ flanking the path, for example, or the purplish brown cones of Pinus pumila picked up in a simple underplanting of the black-leafed clover, Trifolium pentaphyllum – and all over-arched by massive craggy stripped-back oak branches over seats and a table rough-hewn from tree stumps like something out of a Lord of the Rings film set. I shall never look at dwarf conifers in the same way again.