Thursday, May 31, 2012 - 17:00

A mermaid caused a splash at the Eden Project as she relaxed in a stunning new garden featuring water pools lined with Bodmin Moor granite and filled with some of Cornwall’s most popular plants that opened today (31-05-12).

The Sense of Memory Garden is a 22-metre oasis laden with fan palms, bamboo and rhododendron and inspired by Cornwall’s wild landscape and sub-tropical gardens.

Reflecting the world-famous Biomes are two ornamental pools edged with granite from De Lank Quarry and linked by a carved rill of interweaving water channels which lead to a glass-topped circular pavilion.

The garden is designed by the award-winning landscape architect Thomas Hoblyn who won the People’s Choice Award at Chelsea 2012 and is the latest new feature in Eden’s constantly changing and maturing 13-hectare outdoor site.

Tom’s creation was inspired by his childhood memories of exploration along the Cornish coast, Bodmin Moor and the traditional gardens of Trebah and Trewithen. It was first seen at the 2011 Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show before being found a permanent home in the heart of Eden in front of the Mediterranean Biome.

He said: “I am absolutely delighted that my Chelsea garden has found a caring, adoptive family at the Eden Project. A Cornish-themed show garden, using Cornish plants and Cornish materials, going back to Cornwall – it’s a fantastic feeling. I feel as if my family heritage has been honoured.

“I have a strong affinity to Cornwall as my family have farmed there for many generations. I love its wild, somewhat random landscape. It is where, on trips to the sub-tropical gardens at Trebah, my youthful imagination was captured by tales of intrepid plant hunters returning with plants from the Orient.”

The Sense of Memory Garden consists of plants commonly grown in the county including fan palms (Trachycarpus), Golden and Black Bamboo (Phyllostachys aurea and nigra), Wedding Cake Tree (Cornus Controversa ‘Variegata’), Chinese Dogwood (Cornus kousa var. chinensis), rhododendron (fragrantissimum and yakushianum Grumpy) and Hummingbird Fuscia (Fuchsia magellanica).

There are also some more unusual plants including the striking Himalayan Blue Poppy (Meconopsis betonicifolia).

The colour palette uses the prominent silver/grey Cornish granite in the garden as a guide, combined with blush pink, white and silver with hints of blue accenting the scheme.

Originally named the Homebase Cornish Memories Garden, the plot was awarded a Silver-Gilt medal at Chelsea in 2011.

It is one of the few times a show garden has been re-sited in its entirety and brought back to the place of its original inspiration.

National home improvement retailer Homebase, who were the original sponsors of the garden at Chelsea, is funding the regeneration of the garden at Eden. 

Amy Whidburn, Head of Corporate Responsibility at Homebase said: “We are delighted that the Eden Project were able to find a permanent home for our 2011 Chelsea Garden. The fact that it can now be enjoyed by the Eden Project’s millions of visitors for many years to come is something that everyone at Homebase is very proud of.

“We are privileged to be able to support the Eden Project with this garden and we hope it inspires everyone to create their own oasis in their own garden and outside space."

The plants for the new garden have been grown at Eden and chosen to replicate the spirit of the Chelsea garden. In order to extend the seasonal interest of the garden several new species have been added to the original planting plan.

Tim Smit, Eden’s Chief Executive, Development, said: “We liked this garden the moment we saw it and felt it could find a home at Eden with its water reflecting the Biomes.

“We are delighted that Homebase’s generosity has brought it home where it belongs.”