Building With Accessible Materials: Millie Souter’s ‘Urban Regeneration’ Wins Gold at RHS Cardiff
The Urban Regeneration Garden designed by first-time designer Millie Souter, not only won an impressive Gold medal but also Best Show Garden and Best Construction at the RHS Cardiff Flower Show last week. Showcasing an exciting mix of recycled concrete, flowing water and green planting, the garden was kept open for visitors to walk through and view from all angles throughout the weekend.
Millie’s main focus for this design was to create an urban garden that would see low cost, easily accessible materials take centre stage. ‘I wanted to think about how a space can be used in a different way’, explained Millie.
‘For me, urban regeneration is about being inventive in order to improve an area, and I wanted this garden to help encourage that’.
The garden featured some disused water tanks which Millie stumbled across while out walking in Scotland. Bulky and industrial, they bring a raw presence to the garden whilst adding height. Millie and the team from Urban Landscapes Cardiff transformed the tanks into a reclaimed water feature, which was designed to allow visitors to walk under the raised steel channel.
Clearly defining the walkways in the garden, Millie used our CEDEC Footpath Gravel in Silver which perfectly matched the water tanks and recycled concrete blocks whilst bringing a fine, delicate texture to the garden.
Originally developed for Canary Wharf in London in the 1990’s, our renowned CEDEC Footpath Gravels are now well known across the hard landscaping industry and are perfectly suited for footpaths because of their exceptional compaction and quality. They are suitable to lay in areas with a pre-existing ecosystem as they will not affect the pH value of the surrounding soil.
‘I wanted a product that was kind of in-between gravel and paving’, said Millie. ‘The colour of the CEDEC I chose from CED Stone Landscape was really good, and it fitted in with the other aspects of the garden’.
The planting is subtle and understated but looked particularly fresh-looking amongst the grey tones, and included a line of tough pine nut trees planted in the seating area to the right of the garden. Subtle, spring woodland planting was arranged towards the left of the garden with grasses and soft yellow herbaceous plants. The overall result was a restful and calming urban environment that would be ideal for relaxing in.