There are only so many hours in the day following a Chelsea Flower Show, and much to my chagrin I did not get around to writing about Hay Joung Hwang’s debut show garden in 2016. There’s no better time to put that right than the day after Hay’s second Chelsea garden won silver-gilt: an admirable result, although I’d have considered it more than worthy of gold.
The 2016 LG Smart Garden was inspired by the concept of intelligent homes, demonstrating that technology can be incorporated harmoniously into the garden as well as the home. The design represented a pared-back, Scandinavian lifestyle within an effervescent garden, planted in what struck me as a very English style. Hay’s garden was pretty and feminine, qualities which are often sidelined at Chelsea, yet so popular in mainstream gardening. The LG Smart Garden stood out from the crowd then, and is just as relevant now. Hay presents her gardens in a way that blends indoors and out, appealing to our desire to extend our living spaces and make the most of precious fine weather.
Whilst looking back at this garden, readers might like to draw comparisons with this year’s LG Eco-City Garden, which occupies a larger site on Main Avenue. The final image is not my own and is taken from Hay’s website. I include it purely to show the garden at twilight, when the show isn’t open to visitors. Hay’s use of lighting is simple yet beautifully effective.