RHS Hampton Court 2019 - Global Impact Garden
4 Weeks before RHS Hampton Court 2019, I was admiring Geranium phaeum 'Sombor' in a garden planted in Autumn I got a call asking if I would be up for helping design the garden for Ocean Plastics UK along with metal worker Julian Smith and Florist Lucy Vail. Not your average call especially at when your arriving in to the best month of garden work, June, sit back and enjoy the Roses. Instead I entered a 4 week journey that would take from Bristol to Nottingham, some serious neglect of my 'real job' and a wedding in North Yorkshire!
Not only did I have my own garden to plan I had already committed myself to helping Living Windows create there trade stand designed by the wonderful Amelia Bouquet - The roses would have to wait.
The garden was to be a leaping fish entangled in plastic coming from an ocean of flowers with the ocean floor to be polluted to with humans waste, plastic. The garden was to send a message a strong message and one that cant be repeated enough! That was meeting number 1 done, the last before we would all be on site at Hampton Court.
I was sent on a mission to deliver the garden, a grant from the amazing Royal Horticulture Society and a little bit of self funding would be our war chest. "Time is free, plants are not" would be motto as I did my first trip to check Northhill Nursery, Creepers, How Green Nursery, Evergreen - seeing what was available would be the only starting point to creating a show garden in under a month. I got a fair few laughs from nursery owners when I told them of my quest but they would always be happy to help no matter how large or small. To build an ocean of plants, you need movement, some height, alot of blue, a splash of white and for it to be full of bees, butterflies, moths, hoverflies, lady birds and all creature great and small. What I wanted and what was there was there may of been a little disheartening but towering white spikes of Eremurus 'White Beauty' will be high on the list for the next ocean I get the chance to build!
A trip to the South West took me to Arvensis Perennials, Jekkas Herbs and Hortus Loci was followed by a trip to Nottinghamshire and Linda of Echium World fame and the few local nurseries I grew up near including Daleside just outside Harrogate. An real excuse to go out and learn for the people who love to live and breathe growing a huge array of plants. If it wasn't for the colossal amount of driving it would almost be described as a working holiday. The knowledge you gain from those in the nurseries germanting and growing on every seedling before the plants get to stretch out in your soil is advice that should be written down and stapled to your hand, you can see why there isnt a 24/7 helpline available for plants in distress at each nursery, one word deluge, a deluge of calls, I feel I try to assist that deluge.
Plant choices, storgage, heat, rain (storing nasella inside), van space, delivery, small stories
tester with planned build for amelia over in a breeze, the planned was easy
the perils of the unplanned - lesson to self dont rush it!
Build, build photos, volunteers, big metal fish, creating a beach, heat, more sun, no shade no trees in design.
finally done - burn out - a night out with my Mum