Sheffield graduate wows Chelsea with smart garden

The LG Smart Garden designed by alumna Hay Joung Hwang. Image © Randle Siddeley associates

Department of Landscape graduate Hay Joung Hwang has won a Silver-gilt medal at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show for her ‘smart garden’, which is designed to show that technology more commonly used in the home can also be harmoniously incorporated into the garden.

Hay, who completed the MA Landscape Architecture in 2009, was inspired by the concept of intelligent homes to create a garden that allows the owner to monitor, and even water it, from anywhere in the world via a number of discrete gadgets and apps.

Her Smart Garden for LG Electronics includes several technical innovations that can be controlled by any smartphone or tablet. One device – the ‘Parrot Flower Power’ – alerts the owner when the plants need fertilizer, water or light. Hay’s design was a hit with the visiting public, while James Wong, during BBC coverage of the event, described the ‘Parrot Flower Power’ as a ‘game changer’.

Hay said: “as a designer, I am always looking to push the limits and I really wanted to design something new for Chelsea this year. I have always enjoyed the idea that we can interact with our homes and gain so much more than just shelter and warmth from them. My garden concept is an extension of this and the technology used is really only just starting to become available.”

The garden was built by Randle Siddeley. Image © Randle Siddeley associates Natural planting balanced the design. Image © Randle Siddeley associates Hay with Professor Eckart Lange. Image © Randle Siddeley associates

Hay balanced the technology with a romantic, natural planting scheme, which was a mix of herbaceous perennials and multi-stemmed trees. Using soft pinks and blues, supported by a contemporary palette of white, beige and black, the planting included Irises Beverly Sills and Jane Phillips, spires of Digitalis Glory of Roundway and Camassia Pale Blue.

Originally from South Korea, Hay moved to the UK in 2006. She trained as an interior designer and took a floristry course to familiarise herself with plants and flowers, before training as a Landscape Architect at the University of Sheffield.

Hay’s previous show gardens include Chaumont sur Loire, France in 2014 and Seoul Garden Festival, Korea in 2015.

For more information visit Hay.Designs.