Garden Design alumni wins three awards at Gardens World Live

Garden Design Diploma graduate, Dan Hartley, has recently been awarded Platinum award, Best Construction award and Best Show Garden award for his Eco Oasis Garden at Gardens World Live at NEC Birmingham.


The eco-friendly, contemporary country garden focuses on environmentally friendly elements and is managed organically. It features naturalistic planting, log piles for fungi and invertebrates and water conservation. This showcased how gardens can incorporate sustainable elements while still being a beautiful space. 


"I wanted to create a garden that would give inspiration to visitors. A real garden that they would want to recreate or take ideas from, that also raises awareness of and encourages environmentally friendly practices.

The design consists of a grid layout which was based around large format pavers. It is around 50/50 planting and hard landscaping with a reduced colour and material palette, designed to feel calming and naturalistic with a modern edge. The charred timber structure frames the space together with the hedge, important for the feeling of a relaxing garden setting and the seating space is the central focal point or destination which is meant to draw the views mind into the garden.

It's not a complicated design but by using design principles that I've built on since my time at KLC, I think it worked really well and the landscaper and I were very pleased with the garden and the awards!" 


Key features include:

  • Large format pavers at varying heights to support the rill, add visual interest, and an element of fun to the journey.
  • A shou sugi ban timber pergola frame to frame the garden.
  • Carpinus betulus hedging to encourage nesting birds, invertebrates and free movement of hedgehogs and other small mammal's.
  • A planting scheme representing a vibrant plant community.


This garden exemplifies how eco-conscious design can harmonise beauty and sustainability in a contemporary country garden creating a serene and functional outdoor space.