Case Studies

Suttle Purbeck Stone award winning garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018

Suttle Stone Garden Wins Top Award

Suttle Purbeck Stone supplied the stunning stone product for this breath-taking installation at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May.

Pitched as a “celebration of craftsmanship and tradition drawn from the arts and crafts movement”, dry stone wall expert builder Andrew Loudon and his designer wife Janine Crimmins were commissioned by a private client to construct the garden and were given free rein on the project.

The highlight of the garden is a dry stone, half-domed niche immaculately crafted from Purbeck stone, with a curved sawn seat nestled within it. The build used cropped walling of various types and colours, Riven paving and coping. The surrounding space is filled with pink and purple roses as well as foxgloves, phlox flowers and prunus.

The People’s Choice

As well as being featured on the accompanying BBC coverage of the show, the garden went on to win the Artisan Garden People’s Choice Award 2018 – as voted by show visitors and viewers online.

Mr Loudon, Dry Stone Walling Association (DSWA) Master Craftsman and Chief Examiner, said: “The Suttle Purbeck Limestone was chosen due to its timeworn appearance and soft colour, and the walling stone is durable and easy to work with due to its uniformity in bed thickness.

“My wife’s a garden designer, I’m a stone waller, and she really designed the garden to my strengths. We wanted to produce something very traditional and English.           “I found the product [from Suttles] so good to work with – the walling material, and the backup from the quarry staff was so good and helpful, it was a no brainer really to use them again.”

He added that California Quarry manager Nick Crocker and sawyer Matt Suttle, who he previously worked with in a dry stone walling project at Woodland Burial Ground, Lytchett Matravers, were “incredibly helpful and supportive throughout this and previous projects”.

Mr Loudon added: “We were given a free reign to do it, we produced something with seating – gate and pillars, lends itself to being filmed by the media, and show-friendly, but it was also inspired by arts and crafts style gardens.”

Nick Crocker visited the site the day before it opened to the public and said: “We’ve supplied materials on a regular basis to the Chelsea Flower Show – but this is the first time we’ve been involved in a complete project from start to finish.

“It was a pleasure to work again with Andrew – he’s such a skilled craftsman and he did some fantastic work here with his wife Janine.

“When I got there, the BBC were filming it with a camera on the end of a gantry, it really was breathtaking to see it. It’s definitely been the highlight of the show for me – it was the best example of natural stone at Chelsea this year.”