News & Events

The final pieces have fallen into place this week with my decisions on the lighting and furniture and confirmation of the sawn York stone  paving. Lighting the garden is an interesting challenge because although it is only likely to be in use for a few hours during show week, like everything else it has to be installed as if it is to be permanent.

Ducting and cabling will have to be laid before we start construction and then forgotten about until the planting is well under way. We shall have to make the final connections before planting is completed otherwise disruption and damage to planting is a possibility. It is one of the few parts of the project that I cannot be sure of the effect until it is too late to make changes. However we have planned it very carefully and I am pleased that the lighting engineer is someone I have worked with on many projects.

Gaze Burvill will be supplying the furniture for the summerhouse. For some time I have been struggling with the choice of furniture because all the pieces that I liked would not fit – either they block the windows or appear too clumsy in the corners. It has been said that ‘Next time you should consider the furniture design before designing the shape of the building’ – I must remember that! The solution has been to choose a couple of pieces which are especially comfortable and ‘off the shelf’ together with some custom designed stools which complement the shape of the summerhouse windows.

The summerhouse frame is completed and will shortly be delivered to the nursery in the run up to the end of April when everything is to be assembled and loaded for Chelsea. Only the sawn York paving is being delivered direct to the show.

With warmer weather promised next weekend and without the distraction having to source any more building materials I am concentrating solely on the plants. The continuing cold, wet and dull conditions are beginning to worry me because we are running out of time. In over 20 years of preparing plants for The Chelsea Flower Show  I have never experienced such a slow growing season.

It will probably turn out to be an ideal spring for gardening with the temperature gradually increasing as summer approaches rather than massive fluctuations during March and April as we have had in previous years.  However if it is going to warm up it had better be soon. Recently my nerves couldn’t stand the wait for spring any longer and I must admit to succumbing to the introduction of  my own sunshine.

Yes , growing lights were  installed in the glasshouse last week!! Already after a few days the effects are evident. It has given me hope for the roses which are a particular worry but I never thought that I would see the day when this had to be done. Now at  least, for three weeks I can  guarantee a hot sunny 14 hour day for a small proportion of the plants – I hope that it will be worthwhile but don’t be surprised if we now run into a heat wave …… I wish.

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