Outside Rooms, the consumer division of AG has scooped the coveted Judge’s Design Award at this year’s Garden Show Ireland. The award-winning garden took inspiration from this season’s hot trend, the Japanese art of Wabi Sabi.
The award-winning garden which celebrates imperfection, asymmetry and incompleteness was showcased at Antrim Castle Gardens earlier this month.
The Outside Rooms team at AG were keen to create a contemporary, modern twist on the ancient Japanese artform through contrasts, clever use of space and unusual features. The garden included an impressive sliding shoji door set into a dramatic backdrop of “Shou Sugi Ban” cladding; the ancient art of charring timber that gave the design its winning edge.
Ronan O’Dowd, Landscape Designer at AG, was inspired by AG’s new Long Stone paving range for gardens which reflects the Wabi Sabi approach due to the striking visual contrast between its distressed colour blends and perfectly sharp edges. Ronan commented: “Our Long Stone range is proving incredibly popular this season with homeowners moving away from styles that are overly uniform and rigid to those that blend seamlessly with nature and its innate variances. We wanted to design a garden that reflected what we’re seeing in the market.”
The garden also included a ‘Chabudai’ dining area paved with AG’s Manor Stone Flags where seating comprised of plush cushions laid on the ground around a traditionally low Japanese table.
“We used a lot of recycled timber,” Ronan commented, “by leaving some sections raw and unpainted we were able to achieve a sense of beauty without adhering to the traditional rules of symmetry and perfection.”
Ronan shared a few top tips for homeowners hoping to introduce Wabi Sabi into their own gardens:
“The most important thing to remember about this trend is that it is all about contrasts. A mixture of textures and contrasting colours through the design hardscape with the introduction of planting to soften certain areas is key.
“Plants like Acers and Cherry Blossom will lend authenticity to your design, but don’t be afraid to let nature play a part and leave wildflowers like bluebells and buttercups to sprout up within your borders.”
To find out more about AG’s Outside Rooms here.