Ireland’s best-known garden designer, Diarmuid Gavin, is beginning work on a new installation in Newcastle, north-east England, that could turn out to be the largest container garden in the world.
The €2.5m Urban Garden has all the hallmarks of Diarmuid's ambitious, rule-breaking style. It uses 90 stacked shipping containers to create a massive walled terrace garden stretching along 192m of the Gateshead Quays.
Two gardens will sit side by side: the Plaza Garden, enclosed by 30 containers and a hub of activity including cafes, shops, artists’ studios, a bakery and a brewery; and the main Urban Garden, created by staggering 60 shipping containers to create a series of terraces planted with a mix of kitchen garden plants and ornamental grasses, flowers and shrubs. The internal walls will be covered with vertical planting to make a green wall of herbs, vegetables and ground-cover plants.
On the ground, potato crates will hold ‘fields’ of wheat, corn and hops, with huge 6m high hornbeam trees will be dotted throughout the design. Groves of multi-stemmed birch will be underplanted with drifts of flowering perennials.
‘I want to create a remarkable garden at the heart of Tyneside with a majestic and unique design,’ said Diarmuid. ‘I want it to be an attraction that builds on the heritage of the last great North East Coast Exhibition which sets out a story of a proud history and a visionary future.’
The privately-funded garden is set to become a star attraction for the 2018 Great Exhibition of the North and will stay in place for five years. It’s thought it could attract an estimated 200,000 visitors each year. Diarmuid Gavin has won a gold medal at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2016 with a garden sponsored by top-end London department store Harrods.
The Urban Garden, in the Gateshead Quays Development, will open this June.