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A day at Chelsea Flower Show

During May, we treated two of our landscape team to a day out at Chelsea Flower Show.  Leonie Brown (Head of Landscape) and Henry Collier Knight (Senior Landscape Architect) ventured to the Big Smoke by train and arrived early before the crowds!

The starting point was the Main Avenue, where the large showcase gardens are and were varied in styles, themes and plants. Lots of beautiful trees feature in the gardens, creating shade and interesting underplanting.  Tom Stuart-Smith’s garden for The National Garden Scheme was a calm shaded garden with outstanding hazel trees and a white planting theme.  It included a very fancy shed kitted out in luxuries including a single oven Aga.

The Best Show Garden award was given to Ula Maria who had created a peaceful woodland garden for Muscular Dystrophy UK – Forest Bathing Garden.

The striking white birch trunks created rays of brightness through the shade and green.  At the edge of the garden the planting mix had purples and lime flowers.  Foliage texture and shapes combined with different grasses made an interesting understorey to the created woodland.  An interesting connection to the garden is that Henry had been mentored by Ula during his Landscape Architecture Masters dissertation.  Unfortunately Ula wasn’t around to catch up – maybe another time.

Aside from woodland themes, bridges and water featured heavily in the gardens.  A favourite was the Tom Massey’s and Je Ahn’s WaterAid Garden.  The Corten steel structures created shade over the garden, but also collected water and their form was reminiscent of the gardens in Singapore.

A more rugged and naturalised garden with a climate resilience theme was the Terrence Higgins Trust Bridge to 2030 Garden.  Plants swirled through boulders and around the built structures that were reminiscent of Welsh slate mine ancillary buildings.  The contrast between the boulders, naturalised drought resilient plants and the small pool of water that had a little waterfall was mesmerising.

A great day was spent engrossed in plants and talking to fellow enthusiasts.  20 000 steps and a detour to Kings Cross’ revitalised canal side ended the day; tired, inspired and grateful for the opportunity to visit the Show and be given the luxury of time to refresh and learn.
Posted on: 11 June 2024
Posted in: Company News Staff News,

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