Try as I might, I cannot get the RHS Chelsea Flower Show out of my head and I am so grateful to this show for the wealth of memories.
The Chelsea Flower Show is many things to many people, but for many designers, it’s a place where you can flex your creativity, and if you’ve got a client brave enough, it’s a place to experiment, invent and originate.
Back in 2011, I designed a conceptual garden with a modest but adequate budget for charity the British Heart Foundation backed by corporate partner, one of the UK’s leading wealth managers Brewin Dolphin.
I knew with a small garden on Main Avenue, we’d have to stand out in order for their fundraising campaign for research into regenerating damaged heart muscle to visually compete with the big guns with larger gardens that year.
I decided to be bold and think big using contrasting green and red in a conceptual garden to as much dramatic effect as I could muster.
It was a privilege to run through my ideas with Sir Peter Blake who was working with charity the British Heart Foundation on their ‘Mending Hearts Campaign’ over a long lunch. “You know what you’re doing, so go and do it,” he said.
So I did.
Inspired by the movement of blood through the body, the power of the human life force and with nettles as visual reminders that no one is immune to life’s difficulties, it is a garden that I remain spectacularly proud of.
And it always reminds me, no matter what, to be brave.
Thank you, RHS Chelsea.
Built by The Garden Builders, Sculptural elements by Ian Bishop Design, plants by Howards Nurseries.