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Saturday, 26 May 2012

A day out at the Chelsea Chelsea Flower Show Part 1

There's nothing quite like it is there? Plants, people and passion. What an invigorating, inspirational and beautiful combination.

Chelsea has it all....and as soon as I get in through the entrance my eyes are flashing right and left. This time, instead of meandering through the myriad of of stalls and show gardens willynilly, I am a woman on a mission.

I'm off to see a garden very close close to my's a garden which has triumphed over adversity, a charity garden and one which was created by friends of mine.

Dave Andrews is an old mate ...he presents the longest local radio gardening programme in the country (over forty years).Of course he hasn't been presenting it all of that time, but he's created a really good panel of experts over the years.

Dave is also involved with Rainbows, a hospice for children and young people  in Loughborough.And this year he's brought the two together to create a garden for Chelsea.Very quickly.

And when I say quickly, I mean it. Dave and his team didn't know whether they would be exhibiting until March. Yes, March! So it's been all hands to the pumps for him,  Chris Gutteridge and Ady Dayman.

The brief was to create a tranquil garden for reflection on our daily challenges or to remember a child in happier times.

The designer is Chris Gutteridge of Second Nature Gardens...he's based in leicester and a regular member of the BBC Radio Leicester Down to Earth panel. (he's also the son of a friend of mine, Alex)

And this what he and his team created....

A small garden but one which contains four amelanchier lamarckii trees for height, and a sunken bed of such pretty sweet woodruff divided by stepping stones.

Can you see the acrylic screens- well, they allow light through to create shadows and silhouettes. and there's an interactive element too. A hidden webcam can identify someone's gender and approximate age as they approach the entrance.....and appropriate images are then projected on to the screens.

I love the planting too....

Another integral part of the team  both in this garden , and as a gardening expert on local radio and television is the wonderfully irrepressible Ady Dayman. He and his family have grown all the plants in the garden

And here's Dave Andrews - who had the vision -.and I, in the garden just before nipping off for a well needed glass of Pimms ...well two was hot.

I think what they have all achieved in such a short space of time is remarkable. A garden that 's really fit for purpose , one which will bring enjoymnet for a long too, as the garden in its entirety will be taken back upto Rainbows hospice next week and installed in the hospice grounds for both children and their families to enjoy.

A wonderful visit to a tranquil garden......and it's not just me who loves it - so did the judges. So much so, they awarded the garden a silver medal!

Here's one final photo......

Obviously there was so much more to take in at Chelsea....coming up in the next post, more personal highlights from Chelsea...but in the meantime today's track is Over the Rainbow -impeccable jazz from Ben Webster....


  1. I'm intrigued by the clever webcam. what images did it feel suitable for you, Bridget? the mind boggles!!
    But what a very lovely garden. Well done, Second Nature.

    1. Your mind will just have to continue to boggle! And yes, a lovely , lovely garden...

  2. It's so exciting. We have a famous garden designer's Mum in our midst! Congratulations go to all of them and we're now considering putting a silver plaque on our veg patch with the words "Created by Chelsea Silver Medal Winner, Chris Gutteridge". He did the original digging over of the plot.

    1. I can just imagine the plaque! It was good to look around your garden on Friday...such a lovely day....