Oxford Garden Designer Heads to Blenheim Palace
"When it comes to gardens, many people don’t know where to start"
Emily Sharpe scooped two accolades at RHS Malvern earlier this month – a Silver-Gilt for her show-stopping Garden Stories design and then trumping that with the coveted People’s Choice award for Best Festival Garden.
Inspired by a Swarez painting titled ‘Still Got The Blues’, Emily’s contemporary masterpiece is the perfect antidote to the hustle and bustle of city living. It combines hard landscaping with soft planting and proves that big statements can be made in small spaces.
Now the medal-winning garden is heading to Blenheim, much to Emily’s excitement. “I’m thrilled to have been invited,” she smiled. “Not only is it hugely exciting to be given the opportunity to exhibit the garden at another venue, but Blenheim Palace is right on our doorstep and the park provides a stunning backdrop and unique atmosphere to the show.”
However, Blenheim provides a unique set of challenges for Emily to overcome.
“It will be slightly different to the garden I’ve been planning for RHS Malvern. Blenheim Palace is a World Heritage Site and the show rules include a ‘no dig’ policy, so the garden will have to be raised above ground level.
“Securing the heavy oak structures is going to be a bit of a challenge and all the plants will be in raised beds, but I’m confident the garden will retain the look and feel of the original.”
A former IT project manager, Emily is relishing her new career and the success at RHS Malvern was all the more remarkable for the fact it was the first time she’d ever participated at a show.
“The last few years have been a whirlwind, from registering for an entry-level course in horticulture at Waterperry Gardens in 2010 to leaving my role in IT in 2012,” she explained. “But I’ve loved every minute of it and even though show gardens can be enormously stressful the end result is always worth it.”
Emily spends her day-to-day life transforming gardens for people all over the UK, creating beautiful designs with a real emphasis on bringing the same attention to detail in the house out into the garden.
“Most of us have a personal style when it comes to decorating our homes. But when it comes to gardens, many people don’t know where to start.”
“I believe that just like our homes, our gardens can reflect who we are and what makes us the people we are today. I design personal gardens, taking inspiration from each client; a favourite colour or plant, a much-loved retreat or holiday, a treasured book or piece or art.”