Norfolk garden designer to make his debut at Chelsea Flower Show

PUBLISHED: 16:02 04 May 2019 | UPDATED: 16:02 04 May 2019

How the garden will look. Picture: supplied by Susanna Amiel

How the garden will look. Picture: supplied by Susanna Amiel


A garden designer who grew up in the Cromer area is making his debut at the Chelsea Flower Show, which runs from May 21-25.

Duncan Cargill has co-designed the garden to celebrate 180 years of a charity called Perennial, which helps people in the horticultural industry through times of hardship.

As well as his preparations for Chelsea, he is working on various other projects including a garden near Norwich.

The new-style house appeared on Grand Designs on Channel 4 and Mr Cargill is now creating its gardens. His aunt, Shirley Cargill, created the celebrated garden at Elsing Hall in Dereham.

Mr Cargill co-designed the Perennial Lifeline Garden with fellow designer Colm Joseph, taking inspiration from Sir Roy Strong's The Laskett Gardens.

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A relative newcomer to garden design following a 20-year career as a creative director in the advertising industry, he decided to follow his heart and retrain at the London College of Garden Design. He has just received the Society of Garden Designers' 2019 Award for his graduate project, and now runs a successful garden design practice with business partner Tom Sykes.

He said: “I am hugely proud and excited to be designing a garden for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and working together with so many talented people from across the industry.”

The Perennial Lifeline Garden, a walk-through exhibit in the Great Pavilion, is inspired by the classical rose garden and colonnade at the Laskett Gardens, reimagined as a contemporary rose meadow.

Formal hedging punctuates a mix of roses, ornamental grasses and perennials to create a new kind of planting that is not just about the summer but holds shape and various colour through the winter.

The contemporary rill or small stream flowing around the garden represents the lifeline that Perennial provides to those it supports.

Anita Bates, director of marketing and fundraising at Perennial, said: “We're thrilled with Colm and Duncan's design and look forward to speaking to visitors at Chelsea about how Perennial is both rooted in the history of the UK horticulture industry and evolving to ensure its people flourish well into the future.”

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