Constantly striving for perfection

Constantly striving for perfection

One of our highlights of the year is a visit to the Chelsea Flower Show, so last week included a train trip to Paddington, several hours rubbing shoulders with the glitterati at the show, followed by a light supper at Five Fields Restaurant, just off the Kings Road.

Being dedicated, not to say totally mad gardeners (most Saturdays and Sundays we are digging, weeding and planting for 8 straight hours), we found ourselves at odds with the show judges and the public this year. Their choices of Gold medal gardens did not inspire us and nor did Matthew Wilson’s “God’s Own County”.

What did blow our gardening boots off was the Husqvarna Garden, designed by Australian, Charlie Albone, which was cool, serene and structured and importantly, a garden that everyone could create in their own space. Why Charlie was awarded a Silver-gilt medal only the judges know.

South Korean, Hay Joung Hwang designed the LG Smart Garden as a stunning outdoor living space with plantings of elegant herbaceous blues, whites and occasional pinks. The whole effect was practical, restful and charming and called for Gold but again Silver-gilt was awarded.

A very different garden was The Royal Bank of Canada Garden, designed by local boy, Exeter based, Hugo Bugg. His design was inspired by the landscape, flora and fauna of Jordan – a very contemporary garden that was awarded – yes you guessed it!

Within a few days of our trip to Chelsea I was called to visit one of the suppliers of plants to the show gardens. Their’s is a particularly difficult task; to produce vast amounts of plants that have to be delivered to the show, planted and then come into their own and be perfect for the duration of the week.

Many of the flowers would naturally be past their best in late May, while others have to be encouraged to bloom when their flowering time is June, July or August.

Knowing my horticultural background and Armada’s extensive experience and flexibility, we were asked to finance a complete bio-mass heating system for the nursery, restaurant and shop. In addition, a beautiful stone barn is being converted to house major refrigeration in order to keep the blooms in perfect condition.

Funding the heating and refrigeration is blooming easy for us, so next year’s Chelsea will have an added interest for me. Hopefully our client’s will award us a gold medal for service and attitude!!

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