Lockside | A show garden designed by Chris Swift, winner of the BBC Radio Merseyside amateur gardener competition 2022.

The garden was inspired by Chris’s own tiny garden and by the Chester canal, a short distance from the Northgate Locks staircase, canal basin, moorings and boatyard.

At the beginning of lockdown a pair of mallards visited her garden and laid eggs under an Anemone and as she was part of the garden for a while she became part of the family and became known as Annie (we’ve dedicated the shed in her honour).

The garden has been inspired by industrial features of the canal including a reclaimed wall and archway.  Reclaimed paving and a brick pathway give an area to sit and relax on the old bench.  Mown grass leads through an archway to the garden next door.

Chris worked with garden designer Lee Bestall to further develop the design after the layout of the garden was changed from the initial rectangle to the new circular feature you see at the show.

I was inspired to create this show feature following a conversation I’d had with Chris Beardshaw back in 2017, when we were building gardens side by side at the Chelsea Flower Show in London.  We’d been discussing the constrains of the Chelsea site, when Chris remarked how interesting it would be to create a selection of gardens that opened up into one another.  This idea, combined with the perennial problem of hiding a shed (and disguising a backdrop) made me think that this re styling of the gardens would be a great idea.  I’m pleased to say that it’s been a talking point throughout the show ground and I’m hoping this will be adopted in the future as a great way to view the gardens.

Lee Bestall

Thanks to CED Stone for supplying the pebbles and gravel

Canal Garden Walkaround Video

Plant List

Lemon Verbena
Hosta 'Devon Green'
Hordeum jubatum
Hosta 'Patriot'
Nymphaea 'Mrs. Richmond'
Salvia officinalis
Equisetum hyemale
Typha minima
Amsonia hubrichtii
Miscanthus sinensis 'Starlight'
Fragaria x ananassa 'Elsanta'
Salvia officinalis 'Tricolor'
Erigeron karvinskianus
Fragaria vesca
Urtica dioica
Thymus 'Lemon Variegated'
Trachelospermum jasminoides
Mentha piperita
Geum 'Totally Tangerine'
Verbena bonariensis
Calemagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster'
Thymus serpyllum 'Pink Chintz'
Nymphaea 'Mrs. Richmond'