Saturday, 16 May 2009

chelsea, chelsea I believe...

I am properly shattered.

As you can see from my lack of bloggage over the past few weeks, I have been up to the eyeballs, albeit in a pleasantly panicky way. Malvern, home, tidy, clean, work, paperwork, some drawing, then to top off the week, I went to Chelsea.

I was very privileged to be invited to site to have a general nose about and do a smattering of work on the 'Dawn Chorus' garden of Chris Beardshaw and the last year's scholar, Lindsay Anglin.

Now, I always visit Chelsea, but never before had I been on site for a build up, so I was very interested to see how the maniacal logistics actually worked for myself. And yes, it was busy, with lots of people in small places, lots of passing traffic and plant, high vis on at all times, and no reversing without a banksman. It was much more like a building site than the relaxed openness of shows like magnificent Malvern, but was exactly what I had expected.

The 'Dawn Chorus' garden is a delight, and has been wonderfully planted by Chris and the rest of the team, who were also a delight to work beside. I picked up a good many tricks of the trade which I am storing up for my next show garden, and it was very interesting to see the planting methods of another designer in progress.

I was also able to have a good wander, so, with notebooks in hand, Paul Hervey-Brookes (scholar for 2009-2010) and I trundled off to do a whistle stop tour of the show. This was both exciting and interesting, as we come from very different ends of the design spectrum with very different knowledge bases. With his plantsman hat on, Paul noticed even the most subtle of horticultural details, whilst I revelled in the constructional details and general spacial qualities of the gardens. It was a very enjoyable and informative little walk.

So - how are the gardens looking? Honestly, some are spectacular in many ways (both good and bad), some are almost finished, some are no way near, but generally, it is an interesting bunch this year. Some far more interesting than others, but interesting nonetheless.

Have fun if you visit, go and say hello to Lindsay and drink in the wonderfulness and mentalism that is the Chelsea Flower Show.

Maybe I'll have a bash at getting in next year with my own garden, as I was already pencilling in sketches as I sat awaiting my coach home yesterday, my brain full of ideas and too tired to sleep, so watch this space.

But in the meantime I'll leave you with a sneaky peek at the lush little 'Dawn Chorus' garden of the Chris Beardshaw Mentoring Scholarship Team 2008-2009 - well done all and good luck!


  1. Thank you for the wander the show ground. We had a great laugh, look forward to seeing you again soon.xxxx

  2. I went on Tuesday and the Chris Beardshaw Mentorship Garden was one of my favourites (possibly my absolute favourite but I missed loads because I was too tired to fight my way through the crowds to see them). I felt the sparkly ornament at the front of the pool jarred slightly though. I did wonder how much influence Chris himself had had on it as it definitely had his 'mark' on it.