Chelsea Flower Show 2019 Update

Difficult to know where to start but I think it’s safe to say that since January 7th 2019, it’s pretty much been all about Chelsea for me.

Monday 7th January was a very early start, flying to Hamburg to make the final and critical choice for the second large pine tree which will feature in the garden. A very successful but long trip followed shortly after by journeys to Italy and Spain to find our larger shrubs and some special plants - I feel very lucky to have had the chance to do all of this and meet some amazing and knowledgeable people.

Here’s the second large pine tree that will feature in the garden

Here’s the second large pine tree that will feature in the garden

Tuscany, early morning trip to a tree nursery…

Tuscany, early morning trip to a tree nursery…

One of the big nurseries in Spain where we sourced the larger shrubs and specialised plants

One of the big nurseries in Spain where we sourced the larger shrubs and specialised plants

You definitely need to know what you’re doing if you make a living from growing this stuff…

You definitely need to know what you’re doing if you make a living from growing this stuff…

On the hard materials side of things, I’ve been searching for reclaimed timber from marine structures and defences to fit with the coastal theme of the garden, as well as finding stone which is strong enough to be used in huge one off pieces - that way we hope to capture some of the drama and scale of the Basque coastline; the original inspiration for the garden.

Tropical timber from a slipway damaged by storms. These boards will be used for the deck area in the garden. Ashwells Timber specialise in this type of material.

Tropical timber from a slipway damaged by storms. These boards will be used for the deck area in the garden. Ashwells Timber specialise in this type of material.

Up to Caithness in NE Scotland to visit the stone quarry - beautiful…

Up to Caithness in NE Scotland to visit the stone quarry - beautiful…

One of the 1.5 tonne pieces we are using for the rock ‘outcrops’

One of the 1.5 tonne pieces we are using for the rock ‘outcrops’

Splitting the stone along the natural bed - these will form the huge pieces for the pathway…

Splitting the stone along the natural bed - these will form the huge pieces for the pathway…

The Basque coastline with its amazing cliffs and rock formations - the original inspiration for the garden

The Basque coastline with its amazing cliffs and rock formations - the original inspiration for the garden

In addition to all this, some more truly talented specialists and craftsmen have been working on a copper and steel ‘wave’ structure which will provide some shade in the garden and which symbolises connectivity, as well as figuring out how to create moving water which we hope will bring the sound and movement of the beach to the garden.

Copper and steel…

Copper and steel…

A full scale mock up of one of the pools

A full scale mock up of one of the pools

So, things have been busy, and it’s quite a relief to be approaching our start date for construction on site this Friday 3rd May. I’ll be posting updates as the build progresses and the pressure builds in the lead up to show week 20-25th May…