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  2. Southport Flower Show 2017

C & W Berry returned to this years Southport Flower Show, once again working with their award winning garden design customer Kirman Design for a second year, with their take on the theme of Curious Garden. The garden was again a huge success, taking a Large Gold Medal, The Pontins Trophy for Best Outside Garden, Southport Corporation Trophy for Best Large Garden and The Brian Aughton Memorial award for Best Use of Plants.







Entitled Kuro which translates in Japanese as black, the garden embodies Japanese culture through the dominant use of shou sugi ban timber; an ancient technique of preserving wood by scorching the surface before coating it in natural oils to reveal the grain. The entire garden appeared to be set in a vast expanse of seemingly bottomless water with minimal planting, a brutalist structure, and subtle lighting, making the garden both intriguing and fascinating.







The aim of the show garden was to show the vast possibilities of Berry’s products. The Garden features porcelain paving from Global Stone, bespoke fencing from Denbigh Timber, aggregate from Long Rake Spar, and lighting from Ansell.




Here is a list of some of the plants used on this award winning garden.

Betula utilis jacquemontii  (Himalayan Birch)

The alias of this birch is ‘Snow Queen’, named so because of the startling silver and white self-exfoliating bark. The branches are tipped with teardrop shaped green foliage which turns bright yellow in autumn. They can reach a height of 15m, the canopy becoming as wide as 8m. Don’t be fooled by its delicate appearance, this hardy tree can withstand most soil conditions.

Digitalis purpurea alba (White Flowering Foxglove)

This white flowering foxglove is a hardy biennial or short-lived perennial, with broad rosettes of velvety leaves and long flowering stems of multiple white bell-shaped flowers. They bloom repeatedly, the earliest in May and the latest in September, and in the right conditions can grow to 1.5 – 2.5 metres tall. Foxgloves are the perfect plant for attracting pollinators to your garden.


Matteuccia struthiopteris (Ostrich fern)

Ostrich fern, so called because of the feather-like foliage, is ideally suited to cool, shaded, moist but well drained ground. They are found in Europe, USA and Asia. The young curled leaf from the ostrich fern is known as a ‘fiddlehead’ and is edible once cooked, eaten traditionally in North America, Nepal, Indonesia and India.

Hakonechloa macra (Japanese forest grass)

This attractive ornamental grass is slow growing and requires very little maintenance once established. They are best suited to partially shaded areas away from direct sunlight. Forest grass is partially evergreen and often dies back in winter. The grass gets 18 to 24 inches tall and has an arching habit with long flat, foliar blades that brush the floor.                                                                                                                                          


Anemone × hybrida 'Honorine Jobert' (Japanese Anemone ‘Honorine Jobert’)

The Japanese anemone has dark elegant long green stems and foliage, and pure white flowers with 6-9 saucer shaped petals and contrasting yellow stamens. This perennial tends to grow between 1 -1.5 metres tall, and can tolerate any garden soil. Best in partial shade, they are perfect for lighting up a dark corner of the garden, or at the back of an herbaceous border.

Astrantia major 'Large White'  (Masterwort ‘Large White’)

Astrantia are clump-forming herbaceous perennials with palmately lobed basal leaves and branched, wiry stems bearing compact umbels of tiny flowers resembling a pin cushion. It grows to 90cm tall and flowers from midsummer to august, and is very popular with pollinators. Astrantias have been cultivated in Britain since the 16th century and have numerous common names, such as melancholy gentleman, Hattie's pincushion and the more well-known masterwort.


Hosta Francee

A shade-loving plant with large heart-shaped leaves of olive green bordered by white. A thick rosette of foliage can be achieved providing the hosta is protected from slugs and snails. This is a statement plant that looks equally stunning individually in a pot, or in a shady area under deciduous trees. From July to August they have trumpet blue lavender flowers.

Luzula nivea (Snow White Woodrush)

Snow white woodrush is an evergreen perennial that has clusters of white star-shaped flowers in summer. They are well suited to shade and they form clumps which can be divided into more plants. They have narrow, dark green leaves that can get to around 30cm in length.


Asarum europaeum (European Wild ginger)

European Wild Ginger is a low ground-covering evergreen, well adapted to suit shady gardens where little else will grow. It has been cultivated as a medicinal herb since the 13th century and has been used as an ingredient for snuff and medicinally as an emetic and cathartic. The roots of the plant are sweetly pungent hence the name of wild ginger, but it is actually unrelated to the spice.

Epimedium × youngianum 'Niveum' (Snowy Barronwart)

Snowy barronwart is a delicate woodland ground cover plant, ideal for underplanting of trees and shrubs. It boasts handsome and dense-growing foliage and pure white flowers. They prefer heavy or clay soil and will grow no larger than 3 ft. 


Equisetum hyemale (Scouring Rush)

This marginal plant has sturdy vertical stems ringed with black bands, resembling bamboo, and can reach up to a metre high in sheltered locations. It is evergreen even in the hardest weather and useful for giving winter interest to the pond. It spreads by underground stems, is slow-growing and will not take over the pond. Best contained in a 1 litre pot.




Congratualtions to you and the team from Berrys who designed the 'Kuro' garden. Your gold award is testament to your hard work and you must all be very proud. Well done!

Seema Kennedy MP.


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