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Chelsea Flower Show: Alan Titchmarsh on the greatest show on Earth

The experience of standing right next to a speaker at a concert might not be the first thing you associate with gardening, but DJ Zoe Ball has used the sensation to inspire her Listening Garden. Working with writer, broadcaster and designer James Alexander Sinclair, the garden will feature three water troughs containing large steel trays full of gravel.

As a deep bass sound plays beneath the ground, patterns will emerge on the surface of the water and the gravel will dance to the vibrations. The garden will also feature lush green planting, including three trees and a high perimeter hedge. Zoe says: 

“I appreciate time out from busy days by escaping into the garden or the countryside, amongst the flowers and the wildlife, the smells and sounds. So what an absolute treat to work with James on the listening garden.”

When the boat comes in 

Another unusual garden that’s well worth a visit is the The IBTC Lowestoft Broadland Boatbuilder’s Garden. Hoping for a medal in the Artisan Garden category, the garden is inspired by the discovery of an 900-year-old oak boat on the Norfolk Broads in 2013.

Gold medal-winning designer Gary Breeze has designed the garden that aims to draw attention to the need to preserve the fragile environment and the boat-building skills that help to shape the Norfolk and Suffolk wetlands. The boat stands on a small jetty surrounded by plants and trees native to the dykes that crisscross the grazing marshes.

The garden features some edible plants including peas, garlic, kale, chives and plain cole. Half of this lovely garden is aquatic and semi-aquatic to attract wildlife. 

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