Elaine Portch

Artist, Designer, Gardener



Knot Garden Design

The Landmark Trust set up a competition to design a new garden for Astley Castle - this is the design that I proposed following their brief of being symbolic, evocative of the site's history, low maintenance, to be viewed from above and ground level, and finally allowing people to walk aound and through the garden.


Explanation of my design

The design for the Knot Garden at Astley Castle is a culmination of a range of symbolic imagery based on the site's history. Taking inspiration from the existing knot garden the design is circular in shape, but also brings elements of design taken from the outer petals and leaves of the Tudor Rose which have been incorporated into 3 curved seating features edged with lavender hedges and providing a place to sit and view the garden. Designs for possible feature backs to the benches, echoing the gothic style windows of the castle with designs based on the box parterre as shown on the 1948 OS map. In addition reference has been made to the crennelations of the building in the central ring. Other symbolic shapes include the three crosslets from the Warwickshire emblem, three crown shapes signifying the three Queens and the five pointed flower shape taken from the Astley family crest. Although the design is evocative of the Castle's history, the inclusion of contemporary sculptural features emphasise Astley Castle's current restoration and future plans.

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