Crocus Posts

And the prize for the Show Garden most behind schedule goes to…….

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011No Comments

There was a definite increase in tension at the Show Ground yesterday. I think it’s because people realise that time is running out and that they need to get on with the planting. Despite the title, I have no intention of marking out one garden for being particularly behind but I do think that there will be some late nights coming up. Here are photos of all the show gardens.

Ishiara Kazuyuki Design Laboratory


Failte Ireland, Cork City Council

Leeds City Council

Tourism Malaysia

The Times, in association with the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew

Cancer Research UK

Royal Botanical Gardens, Melbourne

Principality of Monaco

M&G Investments

Fleming’s Nurseries


The Royal Bank of Canada with the RBC New Wild Garden


British Heart Foundation

The Laurent-Perrier garden is looking good (very good…)

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011No Comments

With the bulk of the hard landscaping complete on the Laurent-Perrier garden, the focus is now on the planting. Luciano has chosen a mix of irises, grasses, foxgloves, salvias, pimpinella, astrantia and anthriscus. The effect is very calm and beautiful. We will be turning the water on this afternoon whcih will have a huge effect on how the gardens works.

The competition gets nervous about how advanced Cleve’s planting is…..

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011No Comments

There’s a great atmosphere on the Telegraph garden as everyone is very focused on getting the garden finished. Cleve, Chris and Toby are busy planting away while the rest of the team is nearly finished on the hard landscaping. The paths look wonderful and are very reminiscent of old Roman roads. Difficult to create but the effect is very strong. Our only concern is whether the Queen will walk on them as they are not that smooth!


An army marches on its stomach

Monday, May 16th, 2011No Comments

Gary’s Mum, Barbara, certainly knows how best to keep the team going at Chelsea. Gary has been working on the Laurent-Perrier garden and arrived this morning with the most delicious pavlova. I hope that the RHS don’t mind me saying that the catering during the build-up would not pass any Jamie Oliver tests so it was a very nice change. Really tasty – more please!

It’s Sunday so it’s time to start planting

Sunday, May 15th, 20112 Comments

Both the Telegraph garden and the Laurent-Perrier garden have made really good progress this last week. The Laurent-Perrier garden has developed a wonderful sense of calm about it, which is mainly due to the beautiful structure in the middle. We unloaded the first wave of plants this evening so we will get stuck into the planting first thing tomorrow morning. On the Telegraph garden, Cleve couldn’t wait and, with the very professional help of Chris and Toby Marchant,  started planting this afternoon.  It’s very nice to have both gardens ready for planting when so many of the other gardens are still building (not that we are competitive or anything….)

The plants start arriving

Sunday, May 15th, 20113 Comments

As you might have read in the press, the weather this year has been really unhelpful when it comes to preparing plants for this year’s Chelsea. We are used to slowing plants down but not to the extent that we have had to do this year. As a result, quite a few of the plants will be over but luckily both Luciano and Cleve have got lots of alternatives to choose from. Nearly all the plants are in shade tunnels at the moment, trying to keep the sun and warmth off them as much as possible. We are also having to wash all the cobbles that are going into the water features for both gardens. We need the water to be crystal clear and it’s a lot easier to do this back at the Crocus nursery than up at Chelsea.

Peter Randall-Page arrives with his boulders

Saturday, May 14th, 2011No Comments

Peter Randall-Page is one of the UK’s most highly respected artists. His work can be found at the Tate, the British Museum, the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and the Dulwich Picture Gallery as well as many other galleries both in the UK and around the world. So we have been extremely lucky that he agreed to help Luciano with the Laurent-Perrier garden. The three boulders look magnificent and sit very naturally within the garden.

You must go and see Tom Stuart-Smith’s exhibition at the Garden Museum

Saturday, May 14th, 2011No Comments

As some of you might know, we have built all of Tom’s gardens at Chelsea for the last 8 years. This year he is having a rest from Chelsea and instead is putting on an exhibition at the Garden Museum (right next to Lambeth Palace, on the opposite side of the river to the Houses of Parliament). It’s a real opportunity to see some of Tom’s work outside of Chelsea and I would strongly recommend it. He is also giving talks at the Museum on the 8th, 15th and 22nd of June. You can contact the Museum via their website

The Hard Landscaping is nearly finished on the Telegraph Garden

Saturday, May 14th, 2011No Comments

Our aim is to start planting on Monday so we try very hard to get all the hard landscaping finished by Sunday night. So far, we are on track for this with the last few pre-assembled sections of dry stone walling going into place this morning. The plasterers put the final coat of render on the wall so it should all be ready in time. The forecast is for a bit of rain but there is no sign of that yet.

Kengo Kuma’s pavilion arrives

Saturday, May 14th, 2011No Comments

The pavilion was constructed in Japan and two of Kengo Kuma’s staff came over to help assemble it at Chelsea. But it is always a nerve-racking moment when the time comes to put it all together. I have included lots of photos of the assembly simply because it is quite difficult to describe how it all went. At one stage even I had to get involved to help out!

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