Type: Woodland

Location: RHS Tatton Flower Show 2013

Award: Gold

Located in a woodland glade, The Star Gazer’s Retreat comes alive at dusk as the sky darkens and the stars come out. Home to an eccentric astronomer gardener, the design features quirky sculptural elements inspired by a love of outer space.

The Star gate is a portal to a night garden, where the stunning white stems of the Silver Birch and the luminous planting capture the light of the moon. A hydroponic living sculpture winds its way through the trees, and many of the flowers release their scent at twilight as the Star Gazer reaches for his telescope. The sedum-roofed observatory overlooks a reflective pool, and provides space to observe the stars by night and to relax on the deck and enjoy the beauty of the garden by day.

The Star Gazer's Retreat was inspired by an exhibition of the work of local astronomer and photographer Peter Shah, who captures inspirational photographs of the stars from his garden shed.

The planting was predominantly white and luminous, with many flowers releasing their fragrance in the evening. The garden features a semi-shaded woodland glade, with shade tolerant planting and easily picked wild strawberries. The feature plants include large Betula utilis jacquemontii (Himalayan Silver Birch), Nicotiana sylvestris for evening scent, and woodland plants such as ferns and Digitalis purpurea.