The design of the 2019 Trailfinders Latin American garden continued in a similar vein to the previous year’s South African garden, in that it was a representation of a landscape, with plants shown growing in their natural habitat.
The temperate rainforests of Chile are found in a mountainous region occurring towards the south of the country, covered in ancient forests and dense vegetation, and dotted with dramatic waterfalls and lakes. This region represents one third of all remaining such rainforests on the planet and its climate is characterised not just by high rainfalls, but relatively cool temperatures, similar to parts of the UK. Many Chilean plants (e.g. gunneras, ferns, fuchsias and geums) are well known UK garden plants.
Water was a key element of the design. The landscape of this region of Chile is rugged and wet, and the garden featured two 4m high waterfalls cascading down steep rock faces, and plunging into a lake.
The garden also featured a striking red walkway, winding its way sinuously through the rugged landscape, trees and water. In many of Chile’s national parks, basic but functional timber walkways have been constructed in order to allow visitors to get up close to the flora. Taking inspiration from a number of such structures around the world, including one found at the ‘Termas Geometricas’ (in Chile), the design of this walkway was elevated into something more sculptural and was intended to contrast with the lush, natural planting.