The iridescence of these peony petals is fascinating. The planting here with its moody colours, the mix of shiny and feathery, and of rounded and spiky is absorbing. The sharp geometry of the evergreens and hard landscaping create the feeling of a dream.
Chelsea Gold-winning garden:
Paeonia 'Buckeye Belle'
Iris 'Black Swan'
Deschampsia cespitosa (grass mid-left)
Foeniculum vulgare 'Giant Bronze' (fennel)
Salvia nemorosa 'Caradonna' (blue spikes to the front)
Astrantia major (buttons of flowers to right and bottom left)
Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster' (grass in a row at the back)
In a real garden you would need to add a range of plants to have colour beyond May. The calamagrostis, or arrow grass, has particularly good year-round value, with upright flower heads and a height of 1.8m in late summer. It retains good form when dead and buff coloured, only needing shearing down in February. From now on it has lovely movement in the breeze and soft whispering (the designer has located a seat behind it).
See the garden more fully and hear the designer, Luciano Giubbilei, talk about the interrelation of the different elements http://www.bbc.co.uk/chelsea/show_gardens/laurent.shtml