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Ladybrook Nursery Supplies Plants for Award-Winning Chelsea Flower Show Garden.

Cheshire-based wholesale plant specialist, Ladybrook Nursery, is delighted to have supplied the plants for one of the Fresh Gardens at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show.

Not only was Ladybrook Nursery thrilled to be involved in Chelsea, it was even more delighted by the fact that the garden it supplied the plants to won a gold medal and was also awarded the best in category award. The garden Ladybrook Nursery supplied the plants for was called the Dark Matter Garden for the National Schools’ Observatory. The garden was designed by architect, Howard Miller, and was sponsored by the Science and Technology Facilities Council and Liverpool John Moores University.


The garden itself was, like most of the Fresh Gardens, designed to challenge and to make viewers think. Howard Miller’s approach to gardening is experimental, and his aim was to create a garden that was not only beautiful, but was also capable of expressing scientific concepts. Howard set himself the tricky task of expressing his visualisation of dark matter: something that can never be seen, and which can only be detected through its impact on visible matter, such as gravitational effects on the trajectory of light.

To achieve this effect Howard used a matrix of steel rods running the length of the plot to suggest bending and warping of light (known as gravitational lensing), while the ground beneath was also distorted, as if pushed out of shape by the colossal weight of an invisible cloud of matter. Even the plants display a capacity to spiral and kink – knock-kneed bamboo, twisting horsetail and the curious looping Allium obliquum.

Ladybrook Nursery’s brief was to supply a variety of grasses and flowers, based on a colour theme that was predominantly orange and yellow. It supplied many different plants including Carex dipsacea ‘Dark Horse’ – an tough evergreen ornamental grass, with fine foliage in many different shades of green and bronze, Hakonechloa macra ‘Aurolia’ – a golden Japanese forest grass with green stripes near the margins which give the plant its distinctive look, Asarum europeaum – a species of wild ginger with single axillary dull purple flowers, lying on the ground. Ladybrook Nursery also supplied a variety of other plants for the Dark Matter garden including euphorbias, geums and saxifraga typhas.

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For more information about the Dark Horse garden have a look at the RHS Chelsea website (

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