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The Hamptons Mediterranean Garden is an intimate, contemporary outdoor living space that encourages sustainable planting and living, resulting in a garden design that promotes connection to nature whilst providing the perfect room to entertain.
Following the success at Chelsea Flower Show in May 2022, leading estate agent Hamptons is renewing its partnership with Garden Club London, sponsoring a new Sanctuary Garden next year.
First time designer Filippo Dester is drawing inspiration from the Italian landscapes and architecture he grew up seeing and from his experience working as a garden designer in the UK to design a garden that combines both influences.
The typically Mediterranean palette of plants and warm, natural materials is utilised to shape a peaceful space, full of texture and scents, which can easily be imagined as part of a larger garden in the Tuscan countryside or as an outdoor entertaining area in an urban setting in the south of England.
Connection is a central theme of the garden: a large table where family and friends gather to share food and each other’s company is a fundamental element of the Italian lifestyle, but as important is the connection between people and nature which can be experienced in a well designed garden.
Rich in soft colours and the soothing perfume of aromatic herbs, the garden is also planted with several fruit trees and vegetables which can be foraged through the seasons.
Attention to sustainability is also key and was considered at each stage of the design process: the use of energy-expensive and pollutant materials is minimised with a preference for recycled and sustainable ones, and the technologies selected to build the garden ensure that each element will be easily re-used or recycled.
A simple, architectural water feature is an example of how rainwater can be harvested and kept in the garden in a way that offers multiple benefits: mitigating the impact on the drainage system; providing an aesthetically pleasing feature to the garden which can be enjoyed by people and wildlife alike; and functioning as a water reservoir for the garden irrigation when needed.
This design aims to showcase how a Mediterranean inspired garden can offer a compelling opportunity both for sustainable landscaping and attractive design to the ‘outdoor rooms’ of the South of England as much as the ones in Italy.
The planting list includes a wide selection of Mediterranean plants, most of which hardy and drought-tolerant, showcasing different styles of planting, including densely planted ornamental borders are dotted by clouds of sub-shrubs typical of the ‘Macchia’, a gravel garden with sculptural succulents, and productive borders rich with edibles, foraging herbs and roots.
TREES AND SHRUBS
Arbutus unedo (strawberry tree)
Ficus carica (fig)
Juniperus communis ‘Green Carpet’
Myrtus communis ‘Tarentina’
Pittosporum tobira ‘Nanum’
Punica granatum (pomegranate)
Rosmarinus officinalis prostratus
Vitis vinifera (grapes)
Aloe barbadensis (Aloe vera)
HERBACEOUS PERENNIALS / ANNUALS
Allium schoenoprasum (chives)
Armeria maritima ‘Alba’
Artemisia caerulescens subssp gallica
Artemisia ludoviciana (Valerie Finnis)
Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’
Capparis spinosa inermis (capers)
Cistus pulverulentus Delilei
Cistus salviifolius Bonifacio
Cistus x argenteus Paper Moon
Cynara scolymus (artichoke)
Euphorbia characias wulfenii
Ferula communis glauca
Foeniculum vulgare (fennel)
Fragaria vesca (strawberry)
Glycyrrhiza glabra (liquorice)
Iris pallida pallida
Lippia citrodora (lemon verbena)
Matricaria chamomilla (chamomile)
Mentha x piperita citrata ‘Chocolate’
Nepeta Purrsian Blue
Nepeta x faassenii Walkers Low
Papaver somniferum ‘Maanzaad’
Phyla nodifloa var canescens
Pimpinella major ‘Rosea’
Rosa rugosa white
Salvia microphylla ‘Blue Monrovia’
Salvia greggii ‘Lemon Light’
Salvia officinalis (sage)
Salvia sclarea ‘Vatican White’
Solanum lycopersicum (tomato)
Thymus praecox ‘Albiflorus’
Thymus serpyllum ‘Pink Chintz’