Wildlife Garden Design – Swindon Garden Designer re-creates RHS medal winning garden

The client brief for this garden was simply that he would like a re-creation of Swindon Garden Designer, Jill Blackwood’s show garden ‘a Bonnie Burn’ which she created in 2006 at the Malvern Spring Gardening Show.

The garden was awarded a Royal Horticultural Society Silver Medal and was featured on BBC’ Gardeners World by presenter Rachel de Thame. Jill wanted to create a beautiful space that would protect and nurture wildlife. The show garden was designed to highlight that as we all become increasingly aware of our impact on the environment that an attractive and functional wildlife area could be created in any garden. Jill took her inspiration from the Scottish landscape and the meandering stream nestled in an undulating meadow planted with native Scottish trees, shrubs, wildflowers, grasses and ferns.

As the plight of our wildlife continues with the dwindling numbers of bees, butterflies and other insects and wildlife that we all remember from out childhoods, Jill felt and continues to feel that we could all ‘do our bit’. An area of wildflowers provides a ‘nectar bar’ for bees and other insects and a water feature, however small, provides water and trees and shrubs will provide safety and shelter. The birds and other wildlife will come to the garden to feed on the insects and drink the water. Animal shelters, insect homes, birds boxes or simply a pile of rotting logs will provide shelter and hibernation areas for bees and other insects, along with birds and small mammals like hedgehogs that come to feed and drink. As we all become increasingly aware of our impact on the environment, creating a mini eco system within our gardens will help to attract and maintain wildlife and preserve biodiversity and help to provide wildlife corridors in our towns and cities.




On completion of the project the client wrote to Jill “I am very pleased with the total transformation of what was a mud patch full of weeds into something of beauty. The team has worked hard to create a wonderful space. It is now pretty much what I had in mind when we first discussed the project but the reality is more pleasing than I anticipated. I am looking forward to seeing the planting when it has had time to establish and develop. It is already a place of joy and relaxation instead of the headache it was before.”

Jill continues to create and plant gardens of all styles, shapes and sizes and believes that we must all get involved to save our wildlife and that even a small pot of plants on a balcony in a city centre will help to sustain our wildlife.