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RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2010
It’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show this week: the biggest and most famous show in the world (although Gardeners’ World Live at the NEC from 16-20 June 2010 runs pretty close of course!).
The tickets sold out very early but for those of you lucky enough to be going, here are a few tips – both practical and aesthetic. I was there last week with Joe Swift and Cleve West making a film for the RHS website and we had a chance to do a bit of poking around amongst the show gardens.
Tom Stuart Smith is back again building a garden for Laurent Perrier. Tom has won seven gold medals and is a master at designing show gardens. He has some spectacular drystone walls, some glorious birch trees and some of the largest box balls known to man.
Next door to him is Andy Sturgeon’s garden for the Daily Telegraph. Modern screens made of steel and a stunning chocolate coloured wall. There was a large crane shifting some magnificent pines – each weighing four tonnes. Andy is also presenting the lunchtime coverage for the BBC.
Tucked away in Ranelagh Gardens is Green & Black’s Rainforest Garden. This is a representation of a family home in the Cameroonian Rainforest and has been constructed in part by a group of indigenous women. The idea is to raise awareness about the threats they and the rainforest are facing. Jane went to the Cameroon a year or so ago and, inspired by the plight of the women, has put enormous energy and persistence into making this garden happen. She has been aided by the talented Ann-Marie Powell.
Robert Myers is back again at Chelsea, designing for Cancer Research UK. When we saw it there was a vast canopy covering a lot of the garden: so large that it had become known among the other gardeners as “the petrol station”. However, this was before the plants arrived – I’m certain that by the time the judges get there it will all look great. Robert won the People’s Choice award last year.
There are many others: look out for the extraordinary moss (pictured above) by Japanese Designer Ishihara Kazuyuki, the Easigrass Garden by Tony Smith (he made gardens at all three major shows last year) and Paul Hervey-Brookes (for Bradstone). Paul won last year’s Chris Beardshaw Scholarship at the Malvern Spring Show.
I am judging small gardens on Monday and will be trundling across your television screen sporadically throughout the week. I will also be there if you press your red button. Wave if you see me.
Wear sensible shoes and be patient. It will be crowded and you may have to wait a bit in order to properly see the gardens, but it’s worth queueing.
And an important tip from no less that His Honour Mr Alan Titchmarsh MBE DL VMH “never pass a loo without visiting.”
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