The Cotswold Garden
Designer: Mark Draper
Built By: Graduate Gardeners Ltd
Who is this garden for?
The garden would be designed for those who enjoy family time and entertaining friends.
Where is the garden set?
The garden is set in the Cotswolds, as part of a larger garden which looks out over the surrounding landscape.
Who or what is the design inspiration?
The Cotswold Garden design draws inspiration from Graduate Gardeners’ 50th anniversary in 2024, incorporating materials and design elements that reflect their work in the Cotswolds. It aims to create a multi-layered space with the use of sympathetic materials.
Plant List (subject to change)
Inspired by the scenic beauty of Cotswold gardens and landscapes, The Cotswold Garden features Cotswold stone walling as the primary framework. This layout presents two distinct areas for dining and relaxation, offering a functional and serene space for family enjoyment.
The terrace uses classic materials reminiscent of the Cotswolds, here you will find Yorkstone paving and treads for the steps, and Yorkstone setts for the seating area. A timber pergola, supported by staddle stones, extends over the upper terrace, creating the feel of an outdoor room. A gentle spring flows from a stone domed feature, meandering through the garden and into the tranquil stream that runs through the meadow.
- The garden design avoids using curves, this reduces the amount of cutting and therefore wastage. Where possible the design works to full size units, again to avoid wastage.
- All materials and plants will be reused on our other projects. All mortar and foundations will be recycled.
- The garden uses indigenous walling stone and paving to the UK, which is more sustainable with less of a carbon footprint.
- The border planting and meadow would provide habits for wildlife, including plenty of flowers for pollinating insects.
About the Designer
Mark studied Construction & Garden Design at Merrist Wood College, joining Graduate Gardeners for his middle year. He returned to work at Graduate Gardeners, gaining valuable experience building gardens.
The Cotswold Garden will be the 5th show garden Mark has brought to RHS Malvern Spring Festival. His previous show gardens were:
2018 Urban Oasis – Silver gilt, People’s Choice
2014 Bringing Nature Home – Gold, Best in Show
2010 Youth of Old Age – Gold, Best in Show
2009 Chic City Living – Gold, Best in Show
Mark says: “Growing up on a farm in Cornwall, I was always going to gravitate to a career outside. I’m a creative person, with lots of practical skills, so garden design and construction is something that ticked the box for me. I like the fact that you can physically see results for the work you put in, particulary when you visit a garden a few years down the line.
“My style is not to over complicate the hard landscape elements. Simple lines – then use the planting to create, movement, colour and 3D to the design. Working in the Cotswolds means that you are always dealing with sloping sites, so a good understanding of levels is essential, coming up with ways to provide practical solutions to tricky sites is a must.
“Being back at RHS Malvern is a perfect way to celebrate 50 years of designing and building beautiful gardens.”