A taste of Chile helps fire Alan Rudden to flower show gold

Dublin garden designer Alan Rudden has done Ireland and Chile proud with his gold-medal success at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show.

Alan Rudden

Basking in the glory of his recent success at Bord Bia’s Bloom Festival in Dublin, this is his first time showing at a British RHS flower show. He will remember 2018 for years to come as he scooped a gold medal for this garden.

The inspiration for the garden, called Santa Rita ‘Living la Vida 120’ and constructed by Outside Options, came when Alan visited the beautiful Santa Rita Casa Real homestead and gardens — both of which are listed as national monuments in Chile. He experienced first-hand the synergy between the traditional Casa Real parkland and the vineyards surrounding it.

Alan also visited several prestigious public parks on his trip and met celebrated Chilean garden designers Margarita Alamos and María Olga Rivera, all of which helped further his understanding of the indigenous flora, soils, and landscape of the country.

“I’m absolutely delighted to have won a gold medal at a show such as Hampton Court, as the standard you need to achieve here takes everything to another level,” said Alan. “It’s been a lot of work, first constructing a garden at Bloom and then, less than four weeks’ later to construct something of this scale and standard at Hampton Court.

The heat has been tough to deal with but when I see that gold medal it makes it all worthwhile. 2018 is certainly a year that I will remember for years to come.

His winning garden is a very structured space complimented by a planting scheme which is designed to be relatively low maintenance and represents what is typical of central Chile, which is generally a temperate, Mediterranean-style climate. Plants that thrive in Chile but can withstand the British and Irish climate were chosen for the garden along with the Arbutus, more well known as the Killarney StrawberryTree.

Terry Pennington, teh commercial director of Santa Rita Estates Europe, which sponsored Alan’s garden, said: “Santa Rita is steeped in tradition both in terms of their garden and viticultural history and their contemporary and progressive approach to winemaking is reflected in both the outstanding wines they produce and the modern approach to the ‘Santa Rita’ garden.”


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