Since gaining his diploma in Landscape Construction at Merrist Wood College in 1980, Paul Stone has managed landscape companies in Westbury Somerset, Chertsey West London and Brighton. He was Chairman of the British Association of Landscape Industries South Thames Group until relocating to Cornwall in 1998 to form Paul Stone Gardens and begin his involvement in creating the world renowned gardens of the Eden Project at St Austell.
Success at Hampton Court Flower Show
Falmouth Garden Designer Paul Stone has just designed an eye catching display for the Royal Horticultural Society at last weeks Hampton Court Flower Show. Working with colleagues from the Eden Project a 25 metre diameter and 9m tall Dome shaped centre piece was planted with stunning tropical plants and inhabited by 3000 tropical butterflies. “It was a great compliment to be commissioned to design and build this exhibit at the heart of the showground” said Paul. “The brief was to provide a believable habitat for tropical butterflies in a Zone at the show dedicated to the subject of pollination. I designed a planted journey within the structure to give the public an unusual opportunity to walk high up in the canopy of the trees where 90% of Rainforest life exists. At Eden we have just opened a similar feature.”
The exhibit was enormously popular and featured on BBC Gardeners World where Paul was interviewed by Monty Don. The garden was also visited by The Duchess of Cornwall who enjoyed a walk around in the tropical conditions and a butterfly landed on the palm of her hand!
Since 1992 Paul has achieved 2 Best in Show gardens at Hampton Court and many gold medals for clients including The Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow Trust and Daily Mail. He has also been part of the Eden Horticultural team since the original build in 1999.
- Private Gardens
Paul has successfully designed and built hundreds of large and small gardens mostly in the South of England.
- Landmark Gardens
In Somerset Wiltshire and Avon: CEGB HQ Bristol, COSIRA roof garden Salisbury.
In Brighton and Sussex: South Square and Sussex Square Brighton, Seafront gardens for Arun District Council in Littlehampton and Bognor, Sainsbury’s roof garden Lewes Road Brighton, White Garden Michel ham Priory, the Royal Escape seafront garden Brighton, West Hove and Albourne Golf Courses.
In West London and Surrey: Sir Oswald Stoll Foundation Fulham, Lancaster House and Marlborough House Central London, Queen Elizabeth Hall roof garden Southbank.
In Cornwall and Devon: Eden Project St Austell, Trago Mills Leisure Park Newton Abbot, Liskeard Community Hospital Sensory Garden, Science Park Plymouth. St Austell White River Shopping Centre.
Abroad: Sultan Park, Male, Maldives.
- Special Projects
Chelsea Flower Shows 2009 and 2010: for Communities and Local Government with training and experience for groups of excluded people and reforming prisoners.
Cardiff Prison : Vegetable Garden and Nursery for Living Networks and HMP.
Bridgewater Park Stoke on Trent: Social project and land reclamation for Bridgewater Pottery and Living Networks.
Show Garden Service
Since his first show Garden for “Help The Aged“ in 1987 (Silver Gilt Award) Paul has gone on to become one of the most familiar faces at Royal Horticultural Society Flower Shows with over 20 Show gardens built to date. The following year Princess Diana opened the show garden as patron of “Help the Aged” and a gold medal was awarded, the first of many to follow. Notable gardens at Chelsea have included his 1960’s style garden for “Help The Aged” (which included the screening on BBC Gardeners World of Paul and Diarmond Gavin reclining in deck chairs on the lawn candidly discussing the garden features!). Also the long running and very successful series of gardens for Squires Garden Centres that included the Gold medal winning “Steptoe’s Front Garden” (a scene from which became an RHS Shop greeting card).
Hampton Court Flower Show has been a particularly happy show for Paul with Best In Show awards for “The Railway Children’s Garden” (including a working steam Engine) and “A Slow Boat down the River” (including a full size floral barge) both for the Children’s Charity the Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow Trust. Also a series of innovative and successful Gardens for the Daily Mail including a gold medal for his South West Dream Home Garden which again featured on Gardeners World with Paul and Jo Swift on location around famous Cornish Garden settings.
Perhaps the most rewarding Show Gardens have been recently at Chelsea. These have been collaborative projects with the Eden Project and Communities and Local Government. In “The Key” (2009) designed by Paul but grown and built as a large show Garden on Main Avenue by rehabilitating prisoners from London and Homeless and excluded groups nationwide, with help and training from Paul and the Eden Team. Alan Titchmarsh interviewed Paul and participants live to national acclaim. The idea of the Chelsea Show becoming more accessible and the importance of the benefits of giving opportunities to rehabilitating individuals through horticulture struck a cord.
The following year was even more ambitious. Paul and colleagues helped 7 Homeless Centres design interconnected gardens and many more centres to build the features and grow the plants. This all came together as the “Places of Change Garden” (2010), the largest single Garden ever exhibited at Chelsea. Both Gardens won Silver medals. More importantly a lot of lives and opinions changed for the better. These groups went on to full time horticultural projects in Hull, Leeds, Manchester, Southampton and many other parts of Britain. Have a look at the Queen Elizabeth Hall roof terrace Garden where the Southbank Centre commissioned Providence Row Housing Association (one of the participating Homeless Centres) to create lawns, vegetable plots and a fantastic woodland and wild flower meadow!
Hopefully you had a chance to visit Hampton Court in 2013 where Paul designed the” Butterfly Dome” for the RHS as a show piece exhibit. Visitors were able to walk via a raised platform through the canopy of the Tropical Rainforest. Monty Don interviewed Paul for Gardeners World surrounded by tropical butterflies! The exhibit was opened by actress Emelia Fox and visited by 100,000 people including the Duchess of Cornwall and Sophie Wessex.