The finished garden

 

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Final Preparations!

We can’t quite believe that we’re off to Hampton Court Palace to build The Wellbeing of Women Garden. The final preparations have all started to come together as we double check that we’ve not missed anything and have started to take delivery of a lot of the features for the garden.

Checking plants for the show garden
A couple of weeks ago Claire, Wendy and I spent a day at The Plant Company nursery playing with our plants in a rough mock up of the garden. It was the first time that we had seen the design on the ground and it gave us the first real sense of what the garden is going to look like. It was really useful to decide where the shrubs are going to go and to play with the plant shapes and leaf textures. A lot of the plants weren’t in flower so the overall effect we are aiming for is still in our heads….

Multi stemmed birch trees lined up for the garden

We also had news on the other larger plants for the garden. The 3 multi-stemmed birch trees, which Hedgeworx have so generously donated to the garden, are looking great and have already been sold, and the yew hedging bought from Deepdale has been lifted, ready for delivery to the showground. All of the plants in the garden will be for sale as part of the big plant sell off on the final day of the show, Sunday 5th July or can be bought throughout the week and then collected on the last day.

We have extremely lucky to know so many talented people who have donated their time and energy in making the different features we designed for the garden.

These include Barry Gosden, who not only helped us design the structure of the bench, but has also designed and built the metal supports to which the three botanical will be attached so they appear to be hanging on the yew hedge. The stone engraving has been done by Chris Kemp who has added the charity’s name and motto around the centre circle for the patio and the five decades on to the stepping stones which will lead the visitor through the planting to the seating area…..

Stone engraving by Chris Kemp
…. the beautifully made bespoke curved, cantilever bench by Rob Drumgold…..

Cantilever bench by Rob Drumgold

…and the funky waterproof garden purple poufs by Mary Goulding which will provide some extra seating where I imagine we will all collapse once the build is finished, just in time for the RHS judging on the 29th June.

Funky waterproof garden purple poufs by Mary Goulding

RHS Hampton Court Flower Show 2015 just a few weeks to go…

It’s less than 5 weeks now until building starts on our show garden which feels, scarily, far too soon!image_library3A few weeks ago we had a day at Hampton Court Palace to meet the RHS Show team and the other designers and landscapers as well as have a look at our plot. The show is held in the deer park and it is amazing to think that in the space of a few days it will be transformed into the largest garden show in the world. As you can see from the photos, you need real vision to imagine how our small 6×7 metre garden is going to look, something I guess us designers should find easy to do. The Summer gardens are all together and ours will be the first you come to, on the corner close to the palace gates (next to the Champagne tent!), which will hopefully make it easy for people to find us.

plot

Designer Wendy von Buren & our landscaper Paul Tattersall checking out the plot

Obviously the plants are going to be so important to the success of the garden that we’ve had a few visits to see them at The Plant Company in Pulborough, West Sussex, where they are being lovingly looked after.  In a space of just a few weeks they have come on so much we just hope that Tim is able to stop the eager ones from flowering too soon!

plant vist 1

The plants back in April

plant visit 2

Our plants earlier this week

Another rather exciting day out of the office was visiting carpenter Rob Drumgold in his workshop in Essex, where he is turning our oak bench design into reality. Still to be varnished and attached to a metal framework, we thought it looked great just lying on the floor!

bench

Our oak bench at the workshop

Next week it is, of course, Chelsea Flower Show. It should be a good day out for the Wellbeing of Women Garden team, to have a rest from all the planning and get some last minute inspiration from the pros.

Update on The Wellbeing of Women Show Garden…

Although we had been warned that doing a Show Garden was a lot of work we have been amazed at how much we’ve had to do over the last month finalising the finer details of the garden and visiting our generous sponsors and suppliers and there is still so much more to do! Luckily there are three of us to spread the stress and have a good laugh while we’re doing it.

One of the largest jobs has been to finalise the planting plan and order the majority of the plants from The Plant Company in Pulborough, West Sussex who are growing them for us. The grasses will all come from a specialist grass nursery Meadowgate in Sidlesham, West Sussex, the Yew hedge from Deepdale Trees and we’ve already taken delivery of the roses so they can be pampered into looking their best come July!

The three silver birch trees which Hedgeworx are generously donating have been ordered and we will post photos once they are in leaf and looking a bit more photogenic. We’ve also chosen the finish for our water bowl which is being made by Urbis Design and have spent probably a little too long working out our bench design.

Our first group outing was to The Tactile Studio in North London where Rachel Dein is making the 3 concrete Botanical panels which will “hang” on the yew hedge. The panels are so beautiful and we had a tough time deciding which three to chose. Rachel informs us that our three have been cast and we’re looking forward to seeing pictures of them very soon. Rachel’s panels have just made it to the final of the RHS ‘Garden Product of the Year’ and her work can been seen (and bought!) at her stall at RHS Chelsea this year. She is also one of the speakers at the Gardens Illustrated Festival in April.

Artist Rachel Dein

.It  was then on to London Stone’s showroom in Knockholt, Kent to see the sawn York Stone paving and setts that they are generously donating for the stepping stones and patio in the garden. It was a bit of a cold day but that didn’t stop us from having a good look around their great display of all the different stone and finishes that they do.

Visit to London Stone

We also made a quick visit to Jacksons Fencing near Ashford in Kent to check out their Venetian range which, with its’ vertical slats has a contemporary feel to it and which will look great either side of the sections of Yew hedge and Living Wall. We just need to finalise the measurements as the fencing will need to be bespoke to fit our design.

Jackson fencing Ltd.

 

And finally our most recent outing was to Biotecture’s nursery near Chichester, West Sussex to see the living wall panels that they are lending us for the show. The walls are pretty impressive from a construction as well as horticultural perspective and we had a really informative morning looking at all of the different designs and talking plant options for our wall.

Living Wall at Biotecture Ltd.

 

Show Garden at Hampton Court Flower Show 2015

Wellbeing of Women Garden Hampton Court 2015After months in the planning I am really excited to announce that myself and fellow Garden Designers Claire Moreno and Wendy Von Buren have designed a show garden at this year’s RHS Hampton Court Flower Show for the charity Wellbeing of Women. It’s in the Summer Garden category and at just 6×7 metres is small but hopefully its impact will be big!

Wellbeing of Women are a fantastic charity who over the last 50 years have funded much needed medical research in to a wide range of issues affecting women’s health such as ultrasound, IVF, cancer and miscarriage. Due to the therapeutic link between gardens and wellbeing an RHS Show seemed the perfect place to raise awareness of their work and the issues involved.

The charity asked for a feminine but unfussy garden with medicinal plants. The design is centred round a circular patio with stepping stones marking each decade of the charity’s work and a calming water feature from Urbis Design. There are panels of flowers cast in concrete by artist Rachel Dein to act as a beautiful but poignant memorial to loss and in sharp contrast a living wall by Biotecture which celebrates the babies and women thriving due to the charity’s work. The planting will be feminine and soft using medicinal, sensory and aromatic plants in purples, blues and whites to reflect the charity’s logo.

There has been a lot of hard work to get to this point. The garden started as a collaboration of 3 designers and has now grown into a wider collaboration of designers, contractor, sponsors and artists and the garden wouldn’t be happening without everyone’s time, goodwill and financial backing. We were particularly lucky to find Paul Tattersall from Tattersall Landscapes in Kent who has come on board to do all of the hard landscaping and is our main sponsor along with London Stone and Jackson’s Fencing.

Now the real work begins! We will continue to post as the planning progresses. I hope you enjoy reading about it….