Getting out in the garden in January is great therapy to beat winter blues, and it’s the perfect time to take a step back and really study your garden to see where changes and improvements can be made.
Very excited to reveal that I have designed a show garden for Chelsea 2019! The garden, sponsored by social media giant Facebook, is a 10x10m plot in the ‘Space to Grow’ category of show gardens.
The theme of the garden is connectivity, celebrating the positive benefits of social media as a powerful tool for engaging in real world issues, connecting people and driving positive social change. The Facebook Garden: Beyond The Screen takes on a coastal theme to reinforce this message as coastal habitats are constantly changing and evolving and are rich and diverse environments where many species can thrive.
This will be my 12th year at the show, but my first solo design. During that time I’ve learnt a lot about how show gardens are designed and built, but until now I don’t think I’ve really fully appreciated the struggle and effort it takes just to get to this point at the end of November, when the successful show garden exhibitors are announced by the RHS. At this early stage my sincere thanks goes to all the friends, family and colleagues who have offered advice and support, any show garden is a massive team effort.
I’ll be posting updates and images as things develop, so check back soon!
In April this this I exhibited a small show garden at the inaugural Ascot Spring Show. For its first year, I thought the show was remarkably well-organised and provided visitors with a great mix of inspiration, horticultural advice and opportunities to buy some well chosen plants and products.
My garden was one of 6 show gardens and it was a pleasure, and great fun, working alongside Kate Gould, Pip Probert, Tom hill, Claudia de Yong and Catherine MacDonald.
The garden was called 'The Courtyard' and was designed as a sunken, enclosed courtyard partly because courtyards, traditionally associated with places of refuge and with meeting places, are flexible spaces which can be incorporated into most gardens regardless of whether they are in town or in the countryside.
The garden was imagined as an outdoor dining room, highlighting the great benefit of gardens not only for providing seclusion but also as social spaces for meeting, sharing experiences, eating and drinking.
The Courtyard was designed to appeal to owners of gardens of all sizes – the ideas could translate equally well to a small self-contained city space as to form part of a larger country garden.
About the show:
The all-new ‘Ascot Spring Garden Show’ was planned and designed by Stephen Bennett, former Shows Director at the Royal Horticultural Society where he was responsible for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and the launch of all other major RHS shows during his tenure.