Urban Oasis by Mark Draper


Garden Award: Silver-Gilt

Designer: Mark Draper

Contractor: Graduate Gardeners Ltd

This is a funky, modern looking space, with movement and pings of colour throughout, surrounded by a dark cladded wall and a yew hedge of the same height.

A zig-zag boardwalk, in the same dominant colour as the fencing travels through the garden to a decked seating area, which is enclosed by a steel-framed pergola with painted timber roof. This is a space to sit and relax, where the decking appears to float over a reflective pool.

From this pool, a rill runs along and under the boardwalk to a second reflective pool. Here, a feature made up of steel sculptural panels, contrasts with the neutral backdrop and picks up the colours within the planting and the pergola.

The dark background provides a stark contrast to the brilliant and vibrant colours of the soft, modern meadow type planting. Four large Prunus maackii, with their stunning golden orange bark, provide shade and privacy.

Five Key Plants in the Garden

  • Geum Totally Tangerine
  • Geum ‘Lady Stratheden’
  • Euphorbia Epithymoides (Polychroma)
  • Echium Red Feathers
  • Koeleria Glauca

About the Designer

Mark studied Horticulture and Garden Design and graduated with distinction from Merrist Wood College.  He joined Graduate Gardeners 25 years ago, working out on site gaining valuable experience building gardens. 

Mark is no stranger to RHS Malvern Spring Festival and has designed three Gold Medal and Best in Show Gardens. His last appearance at RHS Malvern saw him design the ‘Bringing Nature Home’ garden, which demonstrated how a modern garden close to the house can drift, via cleverly placed screens, into a wildflower meadow and flow into the countryside beyond.

Mark is a knowledgeable plants-man and he has a varied planting style with cleverly placed surprises.