The Spirit of the Woods by Peter Dowle


Garden Award: Gold and Best Construction Award

Designer: Peter Dowle

Sponsor: Simon Gudgeon Sculpture, Howle Hill Nursery, Acers Direct, Rolawn & Classiflora Zelari 

Contractor: Howle Hill Nursery (Landscape)

The Garden is called 'The Spirit of the Woods'. It is a garden that explores our spiritual connection with nature using Sculpture as the medium.

The main vista uses a tranquil and serene face sculpture, set in a stone Grotto over a small dripping pool surrounded with moss and ferns. The backdrop will be an Oak woodland with the Malverns behind. The Spirit of the Woods is explored further with a ballerina made from over a 1,000 copper leaves, and The Whispering Spirit - a piece that invites you to listen to her lips and hear an echo of water.

Each piece of sculpture will be viewed and frame individually. The garden explores our need to connect with nature, and the pieces of sculpture together with plants, rock and water invite us to explore and contemplate what we see. The Garden in 2018 should be a place that spiritually nourishes us and allows us a contemplative place to relax in. 

Five Key Plants in the Garden 

  • English Oak
  • Pine
  • Mahonia 'Soft Caress'
  • Nandina domestica 'Obsessed'
  • Veteran Japanese Maples

About the Designer

Peter is head Garden Designer and owner of Howle Hill Nursery, providing design, construction and specimen plants, located near Ross-on-Wye.

Howle Hill Nursery has been supporting the RHS Malvern Spring Festival since 2013 and have created three Gardens, has been awarded three Gold Medals and two ‘Best in Show’ for garden design and delivery.

Peter trained at Pershore College of Horticulture but his involvement with all things gardening began long before this, with much of his youth spent at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show alongside his father Juilan, who was himself a distinguished, Gold medal winning designer.

Alongside the Howle Hill Nursery team, Peter has delivered 11 Chelsea Flower Show Gold Medal winning gardens, spanning 20+ years. He also designed and built the ‘L’Occitane Immortelle Garden’ which received Gold Medal in 2013.

Peter is a keen plantsman with a nursery full of interesting and unusual plants. A self-confessed ‘collector and lover of Acers’ the nursery holds a huge collection and range of specimen Japanese Maples.