Show Season – our take on all the show gardens

With Show season fast approaching and as a garden designer I do feel the pain of all the designers building show gardens at the moment. It is a monumental task that is draining of energy and finances and only on the days when you can show them off do you actually have the time to sit back and look at your masterpiece but by that stage you are usually so exhausted especially after the huge amount of press briefings, the pre-show dinner & drinks and the array of judges, journalists, celebrities and dignitaries that have asked you similar questions about your work of art. Only then in a fit of madness and all caught up in the euphoria of the occasion do you say yes of course

                                                                                                                                                                  The build stage 

A huge sigh of relief when the big day comes

I will build another garden next year, yes of course it going to be bigger and better than this year and for the next week or so you start working on your masterplan for the next garden. Your exuberance starts to then wain and you start to remember the hard work until somewhere in early September you wake in the night in a cold sweat thinking what and earth did I agree to!! Well thats how it usually goes for me and that is how I stuck to my guns for the last two years and stayed away from the garden design and build, only getting involved to provide other designers with trees and plants and to lend an ear when younger designers need help and advice and then to bring the show garden experience from through my eyes to you the garden admirer and user. This year my main aim is to turn the show gardens into something you can take away to use in your own garden, how to get the looks that you loved at the hows whether that be Chelsea or Bloom and how to get the show garden look that works for your home and garden.

I have been avidly following and talking to the Chelsea designers as they are up first and although one or two of my favourites aren’t there this year – yes they too probably got the Show Garden palpitations but I’m sure like us all they will be back! I will share with you my own plans for next year at the end of this fortnight of garden heaven but for now you can follow all the show gardens and my take on them all from Chelsea to Bloom, the pre and post shows and how I interpret each show garden to a more useable design for a practical garden. That really is the crux of it, a show garden is just that, it isn’t supposed to be a garden that you can use, it is to look good on that day and week so I’m going to take that and make it more of a garden for all time.

I will be doing that every day, you can follow it here or on so don’t miss especially the design side, I usually charge for that!



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