The Garden of Pooled Talents

The University of Sheffield Masterplan realigns traffic flows around campus to facilitate ease of access and movement for pedestrians and bicycles. Running parallel to this strategy to reconcile people, places and traffic, is a vision to increase and improve greenspace on campus.

The Garden of Pooled Talents is one such initiative, bringing a cohesion of art, science and nature to a bare courtyard between university buildings. The design is a collaboration between Prof. Nigel Dunnett, Professor of Planting Design and Vegetation Technology at the Department of Landscape, University of Sheffield, and artist Stephen Broadbent.

Combining effective use of space for movement and pause, clever plant choice and combinations for sustainable visual display, and reduction in hard surface to buffer negative impacts of the built environment, The Garden of Pooled Talents showcases the concepts of Designed Ecology.


The central pathway through the garden, not designed to be an access route between buildings, leads to a partially secluded space for a thought-provoking experience within a visual spectacle. The giant metal structures are symbolic of ladles pouring water onto the garden, at the same time paying homage to Sheffield’s cutlery-making tradition.

Images from July 2018

Despite the summer heat, the plantings in this garden on the campus of University of Shffield are thriving.


Seating makes this space function, encouraging pause


Cool blues refresh


Diversity of form and colour


Home. Top. Next research profile