Perspex® acrylic, supplied by Perspex Distribution Limited, formed an essential part of a Silver-Gilt Flora medal winning garden at the 2014 Chelsea Flower Show. Once again Perspex® approved fabricator, Talbot Designs, was commissioned by London-based Bartholomew Landscaping, which teamed up with Stoke-on-Trent City Council to create the premier garden – ‘Positively Stoke-on-Trent’. The award-winning garden design was created by the City Council Team to represents a city with a new clarity of purpose and sources of energy drawing on the city’s natural resources and new dynamics.
Clear Perspex® sheets in 12mm, 15mm and 25mm thicknesses were used to glaze the central pavilion. The optical clarity and light transmission of clear Perspex® reflect water, earth and air: the city’s emerging sustainable energy ambitions.
Talbot Designs are experts in numerous fabrication techniques, and for this design challenge, they had to develop bespoke tooling to mold the sheets into a complex parabolic cone shape to match the garden’s clean, curved lines. The pieces of Perspex® sheet were essential structural components of the pavilion; they supported a stainless steel roof with a novel photovoltaic panel designed to convert sunlight directly into electricity. Stainless steel arches curved across the garden with more clear Perspex® cast acrylic bridging the arches to create a sensational water feature with water cascading through the air.
Famous actor, Benedict Cumberbatch of Sherlock Holmes fame, who visited Chelsea this year commented on the Perspex® acrylic arches. He said: “It’s a beautiful garden, the water feature really got me. I thought it was a continuous stream of water. It’s fantastic!”
Taking 18 days to build and plant, the garden conveys Stoke-on-Trent’s changing energy as a dynamic and creative place of opportunity for all. The planting is inspired by nature’s re-colonisation of Stoke-on-Trent, reconnecting the city to nature and a cleaner and greener future. The garden’s clear lines, circuits, solar panels and high-tech materials reflect the technological revolution. The silver gilt is the second highest accolade an exhibitor can achieve at the show and has helped to deliver the strong message that the city of Stoke is resurgent.