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Tuesday, 22 May, 2001, 13:24 GMT 14:24 UK
Chelsea win for Charles
Garden designer Mike Miller
The 'Carpet Garden' was designed by Mike Miller
Prince Charles has emerged a winner at the Chelsea Flower show, after his design for an Islamic courtyard garden won a coveted silver medal.

The garden, based on the colours and geometric patterns of two Turkish rugs at Highgrove, will be transferred to his house in Gloucestershire when the show closes.

Called the Carpet Garden, his entry includes traditional features of Islamic gardens, such as water, shade and perfume.

The prince said the silver medal - one of 10 awarded at the show - was a "tribute" to his whole team.

It has a lovely peaceful feeling about it - the essence is the sound of running water

Prince Charles
On his first viewing of the garden last week, the prince said: "I'm thrilled - it's turned out even better than expected.

"It has a lovely peaceful feeling about it - the essence is the sound of running water."

The prince, who has a long-standing interest in Islamic decorative arts, explained the thinking behind the garden in a pamphlet to visitors.

"After gazing for many years at the patterns and colours of one of the small Turkish carpets in my room at Highgrove, I couldn't help feeling what fun it would be to use those patterns and colours to create a theme for a garden," he said.

"The challenge would be to see if you could almost create the effect of being within the carpet."

'Technically demanding'

Pathways quarter the garden, which has a central octagonal fountain and bowl - a single piece of white marble weighing one and a quarter tons.

Water rills and pit beds have been included for irrigation, flowers perfume the air and trees provide shade.

The garden was created by Michael Miller of Clifton Nurseries, West London, himself a nine-times Chelsea exhibitor and the winner of five gold medals.

He said: "Of all the gardens which I have created for Chelsea over the years, this has been one of the most technically demanding yet fascinating, trying as we have to incorporate as many important elements of Islamic design and garden tradition as possible."

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