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Last Updated: Monday, 14 February, 2005, 17:15 GMT
Your eco-friendly garden designs
In our Planet Under Pressure series we've looked at some of the world's biggest environmental problems.

But the first steps toward solving these issues can begin at home - which is why we asked you to send us your designs for an eco-friendly garden.

We asked you to design a garden which is a relaxing green space for you, your family and friends, uses natural resources in a sustainable way and encourages a wide range of plants and wildlife.

The winner was Gina Couch, from the UK. Her entry was chosen by a team of experts from the BBC Gardening website, and she wins a copy of the Henry Doubleday Research Foundation's Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening.

You can see Gina's winning entry below, as well as some of the best other designs we received.


Gina Couch :: Naturally Ours

See Gina Couch's winning design

Gina Couch devoted much of her garden space to encouraging wildlife.

Her design included a "living wall made from recycled pipes and wood, providing bee/wasp hotels, ladybird towers, a hedgehog house plus bird feeders and shelter and nesting sites."

Other features which impressed the judges included a bog garden and pool with shallow, sloping sides to allow easy access for frogs and other amphibians.

Judges comment: A lovely naturalistic, flowing design. There is great attention to detail, taking into account all the environmentally-friendly elements, as well as creating a garden that is very aesthetically pleasing and a harmonious place for humans and wildlife.


Nyske Blokhuis :: A Haven For All

Nyske Blokhuis, from the Netherlands, placed her emphasis on creating a balance between humans, wildlife and plants.

See Nyske Blokhuis' design

Her design featured a pond and a pergola to provide room for bird boxes and feeders in winter, while stacked branches of the fence and under the benches provide shelter for insects, hedgehogs and amphibians.

The plan includes a wide variety of plants with the aim of ensuring that flowering takes place in some part of the garden almost all year round, providing food for visiting insects.

Judges comment: Good use of the space with a practical design and some interesting features. However, while the planting palette was varied, it would only really look good in the summer months as there is no structural planting to create all-year interest.

Meryl Kelsey Masters :: The Lunch Gathering

See Meryl Kelsey Masters' design

Meryl Kelsey Masters designed "a place for lunch in a shady hollow with a wildlife pool and hedges attracting birds and small animals".

Her design features a bog garden fed by shallow pebble-lined channels and a central copper pergola, which catch and divert rainwater, log seats and tables, a small woodland area and a meadow.

Judges comment: An interesting garden with lots of different features, but overall a slightly unfocused design.

Philippa Greenwood :: The Wild Side

Philippa Greenwood designed her garden for a modern family to provide "somewhere for relaxation, entertainment and the appreciation of nature whilst caring for the environment."

See Philippa Greenwood's design

Designed to be "modern and eye-catching, it is also practical and low maintenance. The garden is as organic and self-sufficient as possible to ensure impact on the environment is small."

Philippa's garden also features a wildflower meadow, nesting boxes for birds and bats, a pond and a log stack sculpture to provide shelter for hedgehogs and frogs.

Judges comment: A very well-executed design, which is modern and user friendly as well as including some good environmental features, but didn't offer enough hiding space and planting cover for wildlife or a wide enough selection of plants.

William Wasey :: KHCTC Eco Garden

See William Wasey's design

William Wasey's garden combined nature with ecologically sound technology.

His design features a buddleia hedge, wind-turbine powered pond planted with reeds and native water plants, a greenhouse and a shed fitted with solar panels.

Other elements include bird baths, long grass to encourage insects, trellises and raised flowerbeds.

Judges comment: A great design, in a distinctive style. The garden addresses all eco-friendly issues, but is perhaps quite busy, with all the different elements. We particularly liked the inclusion of solar panels and a wind turbine however.

Jean Andre Waag Hermann :: A Life In The Trees

Jean-Andre Waag-Hermann from France designed an imaginative and ambitious garden based around a natural pergola created from interwoven tree branches.

See Jean-Andre Waag-Hermann's design

His design was set in local countryside in the Vosges region of France, which is characterised by hedged farmlands dotted with small villages.

Jean-Andre wrote: "The pergola could be used as a welcoming place to have a drink or meal with friends. Tree houses could be built to watch nature, or for kids to play in."

Judges comment: We really liked the design concept and it was presented in a professional way with good visuals. However we feel that this is a scheme more appropriate to a large landscaping project, rather than an average back garden.

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