It may have been an Australian team that won Best in Show at last week’s Chelsea Flower Show, but Stoke-on-Trent City Council was also harnessing flower power in its efforts to promote the city as a hothouse technology (Deirdre Hipwell writes), The City Council created a Silver Medal-winning garden at Chelsea that showcased its “international inward investment success story”.
The garden was designed by the council’s in-house landscape team and created by Barry Burrows, a London-based – horticulturist and landscaper who founded Bartholomew Landscaping two decades ago. Mr Burrows said that the garden, which took 17 days to create, was all part of a plan to “put Stoke back on the map”.
The main feature was a bottle kiln covered with 800 handmade ceramic bricks and 10,000 porcelain flowers surrounded by an array of a English roses. A bubbling pond reflected the city’s 18th century peak as a ceramics hub, leading into a smaller tranquil pool to mark the city’s industrial decline. From there the pool led to a “celebration table”, made by Moorcroft Pottery, surrounded by water and Staffordshire wine. “It celebrates Stoke’s craftsmanship and skills and shows that it is open for business,” Mr Burrows said.