“Spirit of Cornwall” is a unique creative collaboration, bringing together garden designers, architects, a composer, musicians and a sculptor.
The project is inspired by the work of renowned British sculptor Barbara Hepworth, rooted in her love of Cornwall, and a piece of music composed by Leo Geyer, specially commissioned by the Hepworth Estate and Tate St Ives to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Hepworth’s own garden in St Ives, the garden is a multi-sensory experience. It has been conceived as a garden for a sculptor and a composer.
Contemporary in style, the garden features a palette of subtropical and temperate plants, illustrating the unique microclimates found throughout Cornwall. Poured concrete and steel form the only hard landscaping elements in the garden.
The metalwork that runs throughout the garden is a physical manifestation of the music, taken from the sound wave pattern, with its peak becoming the garden pavilion, a space for composing and performing. This has been designed by award-winning architectural practice, Studio Evans Lane. The metalwork creates a connective thread throughout the garden, much like the recurrent themes and cadences of a piece of music. The steps down to enter the garden, the bridge across the pond and the steps up to the final platform under the pavilion combine with the metal spines that run the length of the garden front and back.
As the sound wave pattern peaks at the rear, the metalwork arches over to create the pavilion. A large dish forms the roof structure, and acts as a pool with multiple metal fins dropping down to create the sides of the pavilion, resulting in an open yet enclosed space.
The inclusion of water within the garden is a reference to the sea views from Hepworth’s own garden. The water is circulated through the reservoir on the roof of the pavilion, down to the pool via a sheet of glass. This continuous circulating and recirculating of the water further reinforces the repetitions within the music.
Nestled amongst the planting, two metal and Perspex sculptures echo the perceived owners’ use of the garden as a space to exhibit work. Created by sculptor Sheila Vollmer, they have evolved in response to the various threads and rhythms of the garden design, music and architecture.
Based on a former colliery in East Kent, Betteshanger, the garden depicts the past history of the former colliery spoil site and the transformation into a green seam of sustainability and hope, telling the story of the regeneration and transformation of the site into a sustainable park, visitors centre and Kent Mining Heritage Museum.
The black wall – created from coal waste collected from the former colliery sites – and rusty structures contrasted strongly with a green, pink and white planting scheme. Pioneer plant species were used in the garden to show how wildflowers and trees can colonise apparently hostile environments such as spoil heaps, transforming them into places of beauty.
Designed with friend and colleague Beth Williams who collaborate as WILLIAMS+TOWNER, Green Seam has since been re-configured to be included as part of the landscaping at the new mining heritage museum and visitor centre being built at Betteshanger.
A mediterranean inspired garden based on the classical imagery of the greek islands from the azure blue capula of the Orthodox churches to the arid and highly scented planting. 'Halo' takes these classical images and gives them a modern twist.
An azure blue 'Halo' floats above the garden, creating a pergola for shade, echoing the domes of the orthodox greek churches. Soft, flowing and scented planting like fennel, sage, thyme and rosemary, along with slightly shaggy Taxus hedging and lavender connect you back to the planting of the region.
This small courtyard garden is divided in two by clipped hedges and defined by hard landscaping. A fire pit and in built seating create an informal entertaining space toward the front where you sit and get warm by the fire on a cool night, while further into the garden is a formal dining terrace, secluded by hedges and surrounded by planting.
Designed by: Stuart Charles Towne Built by: Hambrooks Landscapes Ltd