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The Great British Garden was the result of a design competition by the Royal Horticultural Society and London 2012, which offered two individuals the opportunity to help design a garden for the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
The final design of the Great British Garden builds upon the initial design ideas of the two competition winners (Rachel Read and Hannah Clegg), as well as workshops with the winners, to create a garden which resembles a journey of discovery. Visitors will pass through three themed gardens that reflect the colours of the Olympic medals: Bronze, Silver and Gold; with each of the gardens having its own individual character including elements of colour, fun and discovery.
The Bronze Garden will be the first part visitors will encounter upon their arrival in the Great British Garden. Surrounded by bronze coloured plants and trees, visitors will pass through willow fencing and discover a reddish, bronze granite sphere floating in water. A rockery, sand pit and swing seat will encourage visitors to rest, experience their surroundings and provide opportunities for play.
The Silver Garden is focussed around a human-sized sun dial set within an area of silver coloured paving. A silver birch woodland will provide a sense of enclosure to the space with white stems concealing a secret trail through the trees.
The Gold Garden forms the centrepiece of the scheme and is prominently located at the heart of the Great British Garden. Spiral planting beds will lead visitors through this garden to a stately Pierre de Coubertin oak tree. This tree will anchor the space and provide further opportunities for discovery and play, as it will bear secret treasures of golden acorns engraved with the names of special Olympians and Paralympians hanging from its branches. A generous wall seat and frog pond will provide opportunities for rest and to observe wildlife.