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HomeAway Garden

Designer: Emily Crowley-Wroe, Cotswolds-based garden designer

Sponsor: Task Academy, a Midlands-based organisation that provides landscaping and land-based courses. 

Silver Gilt Medal Winner

Family holidays in northwest Brittany are the inspiration for HomeAway Garden by Emily Crowley-Wroe.

The Cotswolds-based designer has come up with a shared space for wildlife and people to enjoy and hopes visitors will be able to take home ideas for different methods of planting for drier situations and climates.

She’s also keen to encourage gardeners to leave elements of a garden’s past and seemingly redundant materials to encourage wildlife.

Emily’s vision is a once neglected garden that’s been transformed into a second home retreat. It’s set against the backdrop of the remains of an old storage barn where cats hide out, swallows nest and lizards rest.

The design draws upon the landscape beyond and includes a central seating area inspired by a nearby town, planted stony areas that nod to rocky coastal headlands with their cliff-hanging plants, and dusty pathways flanked by tough plants found along dunes and coastal pathways. Formal and domestic gardens found in Brittany and France are echoed in the formal layout of paths and hedges and the blending of coastal hues and exotic planting.

Special points of interest will include metal sculptures of Agave plants, a hand-crafted day bed and a reclaimed barn door. There will be a number of exotic and coastal and drought-tolerant plants, including the yucca-leaved beschorneria (Beschorneria yuccoides), various agaves, Trachycarpus fortuneii, rock dwelling Crithmum maritimum and fennel, along with four feature trees.

Emily, who runs April House Garden Design based in Bourton-on-the-Water, says her garden would be able to cope without water for extended periods of time.

“The design is about reading the landscapes around us to see what can survive harsh, testing conditions and translating that into our own gardens, creating micro-gardens for plants to thrive,” she explains.

“The barn section recalls the outbuildings at my family home. It acknowledges the importance of habitat protection in old or established garden settings. Working with ruins as part of garden design/landscaping in whatever way we can impact positively on the environment.”

Emily became interested in garden design after buying her first home, which had gardens with potential for improvement.

Emily’s 2022 RHS Malvern garden ‘The Hide Garden’ was awarded Silver Gilt and Best Show Garden.

Emily is currently involved in a number of projects, including the partial redesign of a country garden to incorporate a wildlife pond and sunken garden inspired by Mediterranean landscapes and a new build plot with open views across wet meadows.

HomeAway Garden is sponsored by Task Academy, a Midlands-based organisation that provides landscaping and land-based courses.

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