Waddesdon Manor’s Carpet Bedding – By Oscar de la Renta with Kernock Park Plants

January 30, 2024

In 2003, I designed a show garden for the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, and this carpet bedding scheme was a huge influence on one piece of the design.  

carpet bedding at oscar de la renta waddeson manor artistic
Carpet bedding plants at Waddeston Manor.

At the time, I had recently seen this garden, which was created at Waddesdon Manor for fashion designer Oscar De La Renta by Kernock Park Plants.

carpet bedding at oscar de la renta waddeson manor artistic

The carpet bedding planting scheme is unlike any I have seen before (or since).  It is artistic and beautiful, and the way in which it is created (using a pixelated computer-generated image to precisely map plants for color to a grid that is then laid out on the ground and planted in numbered trays) is fascinating, simple, and in my mind, totally under-appreciated and used by designers.

When I contacted Kernock Park Plants about images for this post, I was shocked to hear that this garden didn’t inspire others like it.  They tend to use the technology mostly to create logos and municipal displays for towns.

carpet bedding at oscar de la renta waddeson manor artistic
Carpet bedding plants – laid out with a computer program that matches the colors to the plants in precise detail, creates a painterly quality in this abstract art-inspired planting design scheme.

Fascinatingly, this display (which is actually two beds – 16.20 x 4.36 m and 15.60 x 4.26 m) uses nearly 50,000 plants.

Here is a list of the carpet bedding plants used:

Festuca Elijah Blue
Ajuga Burgandy Glow
Alternanthera E
Alternanthera H
Arabis Old Gold
Alternanthera J
Iresene Brilliantissima
Pyrethrum Golden Moss
Echeveria elegans
Senecio serpens

Sedum Pachyclodos
Deschampsia Tatra Gold
Sedum Purpureum
Sedum Ogon
Alternanthera G
Echeveria secunda
Echeveria secunda

Ajuga Chocolate Chip

Alternanthera Rosea
Helichrysum Korma
Echeveria glauca
Sedum Cape Blanco
Tradescantia Purple Sabre
Festuca Golden Toupee
Sedum Pachyclodos
Deschampsia Tatra Gold

Ruby Mantle
Sempervivum tec. Rubin

Total plants   48802!

When I did my little project (which was only about 10 trays), I was re-creating the look of running water with plants (very conceptual – and not really the focal point of the garden).  I sent Chris Harnett the InstaPlant Manager at Kernock Park Plants a picture of water that I liked and he did the rest.  Simple and not really very expensive considering the service.

carpet bedding at oscar de la renta waddeson manor artistic

More recently, Kernock has created a couple of arty installations, like this horse image.  Now, the same technology can be applied to green walls as in this Gold-winning Chelsea garden (below) by Sarah Eberle.  With the level of detail that they can create, I think it is only a matter of time before an inspired designer creates living wallpaper!

living wall paper with vertical plants
Living Wall paper with vertical garden plantings.

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  1. Sprout says:

    Where’s a picture of your running water plants?!

  2. Layanee says:

    I will re-think bedding schemes. These look like abstract watercolors. Beautiful.

  3. janet says:

    wow! I love that garden!

  4. dana says:

    Bellissimo …come un quadro astratto!
    “action gardening”
    grazie dana

  5. Susan aka Miss R says:

    This is an excellent example of why no idea should ever be ruled out. Garden styles go in and out of fashion just like hemlines and bedding plants in ornate patterns are out of fashion. These show how they can be modern and timely and redefine ornate and accuracy in planting.

  6. ryan says:

    There was an green wall/painting of an apple, made with succulents, at the SF Flower and Garden show this past spring. Rebecca Cole’s demo garden. It was pretty effective.

  7. Steve says:

    That is an absolutely terrific look. Good Lord – it’s plain art is what it is.

  8. lime green beddind says:

    this page will be useful for my sister. i am going to send this to her immediately. Thank you very much.

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