‘Spring Gardens Should Be So Much More Than Just Bulbs’: Kate Gould At The Ascot Spring Flower Show

The very first Ascot Spring Flower Show went down a treat last week, with positive reviews and plant enthusiasts flocking to see the specialist nurseries, tradestands and show gardens on display. Six additional gardens designed by Young Designer Of The Year entrants from colleges across the country were also on show, with visitors able to vote for their favourites by posting tokens though letter boxes.

Award-winning designer Kate Gould created ‘A Garden For All Seasons’ for the show, an enticing and attractive garden that was a firm favourite with visitors. Kate’s brief from Ascot was to create an outdoor space that would provide a family with different functional areas in a relatively compact garden. ‘A Garden For All Seasons’ is a perfect example of how you can get a lot of ‘rooms’ into one stylish scheme, from inviting alfresco dining areas to cosy seating arrangements.

Building a spring garden that needs to look its best at the very beginning of the planting season requires a different set of rules from building a summer garden. ‘The concepts behind spring gardens should be so much more than just working with bulbs’, said Kate. ‘This time of year, it’s all about the trees – we knew we wanted the blossom but getting the timing right and having the tree come into flower for the show was a challenge. I do think we were incredibly lucky with the blossom.’

Keeping the trees in mind, Kate opted for our Oyster Porcelain Paving from our EMPEROR Country Range, which beautifully replicates the natural patterning of wood in a cool grey shade.


Kate’s a big fan of our porcelain paving; last year we cut EMPEROR Porcelain Paving from our Urban range in Manhattan into bespoke hexagons for her City Living Garden which won Gold and Best Fresh Garden at RHS Chelsea 2017. Take a look at how she used these uniquely shaped paving tiles here.

‘Lighter coloured paving options are still a very popular choice in city gardens’, explains Kate. ‘In London, where there’s a lot of dirt and debris falling from trees, porcelain paving in a light colour will stay a lot cleaner than a lightly toned natural stone which can stain. There’s just as much choice with porcelain paving products as there is with natural stone, and while it might not have the same warmth it’s equally as lovely when used in the right place’.

The paving was used to create and define smaller paths and walkways around the garden, with a long ‘corridor’ towards the back.

The cool grey tones of the Oyster EMPEROR porcelain paving was perfectly combined with the pale pink blossom, fresh green planting and orange corten steel structures.

Kate opted for our 10mm Flint Gravel for the dining space, specifically to help with drainage in that area of the garden but also to bring a different texture into the scheme. ‘Gravel is certainly not a mundane product, it’s a sustainable material that can look great in the right setting’ she explained.

‘We were very happy with A Garden For All Seasons’, said Kate. ‘It takes so much work to put everything together for a show garden and we had a particularly challenging build. As the flower show is a new event at Ascot, there were a few obstacles under the ground that we weren’t expecting. But that’s the thing about designing gardens, there’s always going to be something unexpected that you have to deal with. Overall, I thought it was a really good event, especially as it was an inaugural show. Ascot is a brilliant, experienced venue with the right infrastructures in place so it was put together really well.’ Kate and her team are now working hard on their ‘New West End Garden’ for this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show, which will be on the 22nd - 26th May.


For more information about our porcelain paving ranges, contact our expert team who will be happy to discuss these products in more detail with you. We’re also happy to send a range of samples for free. Call us 01708 867237 or send us an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

This news posted on 24th Apr 2018

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