Guest blog: Joanna Brinkman – garden design with Haddonstone

By Joanna Brinkman, co-designer of The Haddonstone Garden: A Sense of Heritage long border at the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show 2019 

I first came across Haddonstone, not when I moved into the village of East Haddon where their offices and beautiful Show Gardens are situated but when I was living in London.  A friend invited me round to view a Haddonstone planter that she had inherited from her mother and that had now been installed in her garden in Muswell Hill.

I have to confess I was a bit sceptical.  Nobody could have described this garden as large, it was definitely small even for postage stamps.  So it was that I set off with some trepidation to admire the family heirloom.  A drink was thrust into my hand and I headed through the back door to the wooden steps that led down to the garden.

You can imagine my surprise when I saw nestled in the border, an exquisite Haddonstone Gothic Urn and Base.  It was everything you could have wished for and more.  It added charm, it added style and most of all it created the atmosphere you might expect to find in a secret garden.  I was instantly pea green with envy.

My dear friend had been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Haddonstone and I knew it was in some way as a connection to her much-loved mother but also because she could envisage the effect of it within her garden.  How right she was.

What I learnt that day was that stonework is right for every garden no matter the size.  It adds year- round structure and interest, it compliments and highlights the planting around it and it offers a focal point to a border or a garden that gives pleasure throughout the year. As a professional gardener I am often asked to advise on adding stonework to a border.  Whether it’s because you are instantly attracted to something you see or because you feel a particular space would benefit from a piece of stonework, I think the best advice is to go with your instinct and choose something that suits the space.  Large spaces need suitably sized statement pieces.  Smaller spaces benefit from well proportioned stonework because it instantly adds a further dimension and elevates the area into something really special.

The Haddonstone Gothic Urn and Base

William Scholey and I have worked in partnership with Haddonstone on one of the Long Borders to be seen at RHS Chatsworth this summer.  Our border will be called the Haddonstone Border: A Sense of Heritage and although it is not very big space at seven metres long, the stonework will fulfil a number of different functions.  It will add contrast to the soft textural and fragrant planting.

It will create atmosphere within the planting by harking back to the extensive borders of old from the grand houses and stately homes where Gertrude Jekyll brought to life her incredible planting schemes and perhaps most importantly, our carefully chosen pieces will highlight the legacy of two very famous gardeners at Chatsworth, Capability Brown and Joseph Paxton. We are simply thrilled to be working with Haddonstone and have really enjoyed choosing the statuary we wanted to use and we would encourage every gardener to think about using stonework in their garden whatever the size.

Haddonstone will be sponsoring The Haddonstone Garden: A Sense of Heritage long border, designed by Joanna and William Scholey (Scholey Garden Design), at the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show, 6th – 9th June 2019.  Visit our events page for more details.

About Joanna Brinkman

As the daughter of a tea planter married to a keen gardener, Joanna could say plants were in her blood.  Her passion for gardening was lit by her mother who could no longer tend the garden because of illness.  Joanna took over and the gardening bug took hold.  After moving away from home, Joanna tended the largest pots that would fit on a very small balcony and then when she moved to a house with a garden, she started working for a garden landscaping company and drawing up border designs.  In 2004, she set up Pots of Style to specialise in planters and window boxes but since then clients have sought her out to create planting designs for long sweeping borders and intimate courtyard gardens, family gardens and roof terraces.  Joanna is married with two children and lives in East Haddon.

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