Lloyds TSB Garden designer Trevor Tooth
Lloyds TSB Garden designer Trevor Tooth
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Financial services provider Lloyds TSB has appointed Chelsea debutant Trevor Tooth as the designer of its first show garden at the 2007 Chelsea Flower Show.

Trevor, 34, a Silver-Gilt medal winner at the 2006 Hampton Court Flower Show, has a garden design practice near Canterbury, Kent, and is BBC Radio Kent’s gardening expert.

He said: “I’m enormously proud of my career achievements so far. Now I’m looking forward to the challenge of designing a garden for what is the biggest stage of all for a contemporary gardener.”

Trevor’s design imagines the new possibilities open to a middle aged couple whose children have left home. Suddenly what was merely a functional family space has become an area rich in possibility, as the couple enter a new phase of their lives, with new aspirations and activities. The garden expresses their love for modern art, creating a personal space in which to relax and entertain friends.

The Lloyds TSB Show Garden is influenced by the artist Mondrian’s grid-like abstract paintings of trees and bold use of primary colours. This has inspired a modern formal garden using the Lloyds TSB colours within the planting, walls and paving to reflect the sponsor’s identity. The design introduces an element of control on the thuggish plants that would normally take over a mature garden. It predominantly contains traditional plants allowing them to spread through segmented borders representing some freedom within the controlled space.

Miriam Staley, of Lloyds TSB, said: “We were impressed with Trevor’s concept and design for what will be Lloyd TSB’s first sponsorship of a show garden at this prestigious event.

“The life of the garden from planting to maturity and the many changes that must take place along the way is a reflection of the changing needs and circumstances of our customers. Just as Trevor has made the garden appropriate for a couple at a certain stage of their lives, Lloyds TSB also seeks to provide appropriate financial solutions to meet our customers’ varying needs.” 

Organised by the Royal Horticultural Society, the show, which takes place in the grounds of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea from 22-26 May 2007, attracts 157,000 visitors each year.  Trevor Tooth’s garden design is one of just 20 major show gardens which will be on display.

The garden – design attached

The Lloyds TSB Show Garden is a raised garden entered using floating steps. The whole garden is retained by a wall clad in black Perspex with white stemmed birch trees in front, underplanted with mint.

Two pools are connected by a rill dividing the garden. Art panels reflect onto these pools with lines representing the Lloyds TSB colours, and these will be holographic to create movement within the garden.

The lawn is surrounded by an abundance of planting, controlled by steel edging. Trees and large shrubs flank the edges, giving a feeling of security and boundaries but the simplicity of the lawn lends a feeling of relief and space from the planting. The lawn leads to a bridge that passes over the rill into a space designed for relaxation and entertainment.  This area is lightly shaded and contains a seat that acts as a water collector, capturing rainwater which flows into the far pool. This sunken area will be a cool space covered by a louvered pergola which has one of the garden’s existing trees growing through it. The floor of this area will be a metal grid with ferns growing below in the wet semi-shade, and a glass cantilevered table and weather-proof cushions surround the space.

The rear boundary will be a white Perspex wall with black bamboos underplanted with grasses. The side will be a mixture of cedar-stripped fencing and white Perspex panels. Some existing large eucalyptus gunnii will be running along this boundary.

Trevor Tooth

Trevor Tooth has spent more than 17 years in the industry, training at Hadlow College, Kent, then building gardens and honing his design skills until he was ready to run his own practice. He now has a practice of 20 garden professionals, based at Petham, near Canterbury, Kent,  and regularly shares his knowledge of gardening with listeners of BBC Radio Kent.