After months of anticipation we’ve finally started building our Artisan Garden for the NSPCC at the world famous RHS Chelsea Flower Show. This year’s garden, which is sponsored and supported by the lovely people at Sheila’s Wheels Insurance, will be our fifth garden and promises to be our best ever. The garden is a nostalgic thought-provoking garden, designed to get people to reflect on the preciousness and potential of childhood and to encourage them to think about what will they leave? as a legacy.
The NSPCC is the only charity focused on ending child cruelty across the UK, driven by the simple belief that no child should suffer. The NSPCC’s life-changing work is funded almost exclusively by the kindness of the public – around one in every six pounds donated to the NSPCC comes from gifts in wills. Hopefully, if we can encourage people to reflect on their own childhood happy memories in this garden then we can get them to think about helping the NSPCC continue their amazing work with their own gift in their will.
We have 10 days to build our garden and after 3 days we are thrilled with our progress. We are on schedule to finish on Sunday 19th May. It’s quite humbling on day one when we arrive on site to see our plot marked out for us on a piece of bare grass, knowing that ten days later our garden will be judged by the RHS and more importantly by the gardening public. Thankfully, everything has been planned out and we have a detailed build schedule, detailing exactly what we are going to be doing on what day and what we hope to achieve at the end of each day. We are just hoping for better weather than we have had over the last few weeks. So far the weather has been OK, but it is turning a bit more cooler and showery, typical Chelsea build up weather.
We did feel a bit anxious on our first day when we turned up on site to be confronted with a blank space, our plot looked so space. Now that plants are going in, the garden is developing nicely.
Central to the garden is our beautiful rustic tree house, which is being built by forestry craftsman, Phil Game and Cormac Conway and his team from Conway Landscapes here in Bishop’s Stortford. Mark Sessions from Stortford based company ‘Aquatic Fanatics’ is constructing the water feature. Already the garden has a wonderful nostalgic feel and is getting a lot of attention.
The general weather conditions have been against us in the run up to Chelsea. The spring has been one of the latest that we can remember and consequently plants are 2-3 weeks behind where they should be. Everybody is in the same boat and as you walk around the show, there is very little flower colour to be seen at the moment. All in all a very worrying build-up and we’ll be taking it right up to the wire.
It’s nice to meet up with old friends and familiar faces and fellow designers. Usually though, there’s no time for chat as everyone is focused on building their own garden’s. It’s only towards the end of the build, when some of the pressure is off, that people start to relax and talk to each other and everyone becomes more sociable.
Our judgement day is Tuesday 21st May when we find out what medal we have been awarded and that’s also the day that the Show opens to the public. For us that’s our favourite part of the Show talking to keen gardeners and sharing our passion for plants. Fingers crossed!
If you happen to have tickets for Chelsea this year do come and see us and say hello, we’d be very pleased to see you:
To find out more about the work of the NSPCC check out www.nspcc.org.uk . For regular photo updates on the garden go to our website and click on the twitter and facebook icons.
‘What will we leave? The NSPCC Garden of Magical Childhood
Artisan Garden Plot SEW5