Episode 160: The RHS Chelsea Flower Present with Annie Guilfoyle  

Did you ever marvel what it might be wish to get unique entry to the RHS Chelsea Flower Present? Nicely, your desires have come true as a result of on this unique interview we received an all-access go to THE horticultural occasion of the yr due to Annie Guilfoyle, a 2024 decide. Annie is co-founder of Backyard Masterclass within the UK and an award wining backyard designer who earned a Silver Medal at Cheslea years in the past for her progressive panorama design. Annie is simply again from the present this yr and shares particulars from her favourite gardens, fascinating new vegetation that caught her consideration, and even some celeb gossip from these stars that had been in attendance on the present. (Spoiler alert: she did not  see Woman Whistledown on the Bridgerton -themed backyard). We mentioned how native vegetation and sustainable practices performed a job on this yr’s occasion and speak about themes of water conservation and hardscape upcycling.  

Trying to attend the present subsequent yr? Then you definitely’re in luck as a result of Annie shares some tip sand methods for navigating the present grounds and insights on find out how to take advantage of your go to. Who wants Monty Don whenever you’ve received Annie Guilfoyle? Not us! 

Chelsea Flower Show grounds

The Chelsea Flower Present is held for 5 days on the finish of Might by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) on the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea in Chelsea, London. The gardens make the most of 11 complete acres, so ticketing is proscribed annually to solely 157,000 guests. All tickets have to be bought prematurely. The present has been in operation since 1912. 

The constructing and set up of the present gardens begins almost a month prematurely of the present opening. Designers typically make use of contract crews to put in/engineer the hardscaping and basic backyard construction. Planting crews undertake the inexperienced materials set up. All care and upkeep within the continuing weeks is completed by the designer and their chosen helpers. Arrange within the “marquee,” and space devoted to nursery tradeshow cubicles all takes place inside every week of the present’s begin.     

Though vital, far much less emphasis is placed on native vegetation within the UK when in comparison with North America. Nonetheless, you will note some nurseries within the marquee space selling native vegetation, wildflowers, and pollinator-friendly choices.  

London designer Ula Maria was awarded a gold medal at this yr’s Cheslea Present for her Muscular Dystrophy UK – Forest Bathing Backyard. The backyard showcased a highly-accessible panorama that provides a spot of refuge to these affected by a limiting bodily situation. Every present backyard/deisgner has a associate charity that they collaborate with to develop an total design theme. After the conclusion of the present, the backyard is then dismantled and relocated to position of the charities’ selecting. This award-winning backyard will probably be going to a Hospice in Glasgow. 

Acclaimed backyard designer Tom Stuart-Smith leaned in to a extra delicate color-palette, with soothing inexperienced and delicate pastels dominating the vegetation scheme. This woodland backyard was a respite from others with extra audacious colours, and a standout point of interest was an unimaginable backyard shed designed by Tom’s son.  

Matthew Childs (a former pupil of Annie’s) received the 2024 Silver Gilt Medal and Finest Building Award. The backyard was impressed by a rejuvenated quarry panorama. The construction resembled a crevice rockery, with many alpine vegetation taking middle stage and monolith slate stepping stones all through. The gorgeous backyard design honors all of the lives misplaced to HIV, but in addition the hopeful imaginative and prescient of the Terrence Higgins Belief’s (charity p[partner) prediction that by 2030 there will be no new HIV cases. 

The Pulp Friction – Growing Skills Garden was designed by Will Dutch  and Tin-Tin Azure-Marxen. This pollinator-friendly/edible-forward landscape had so many charming details, it’s hard to name them all. One particular favorite was the repurposed fire spigots that the designers turned into bug houses. The garden will be relocated to Stockhill Fire Station in Nottingham and will be used as a community garden by Pulp Friction (charity partner), the local community, and firefighters suffering from psychological stress. 

Annie’s favorite plant of the show, also voted Best Tree of the Show: white fringe tree (Chionanthus virginicus, Zones 3-9) 

You never know what you’ll see at the marquee. Among this year’s nursery booth was a choice Chrysanthemum grower whose sample plants were approximately 10-times the size of an average human head! 

Once the show gardens have been constructed, planted, and pretty much completed the detailed polishing takes place hours before press-day begins. At this point you’ll see lots of shoes kicked off for both comfort and to avoid tracking debris into the landscape.  

To demonstrate the water absorption and redirection properties of the flood-resistant garden designed by Naomi Slade and  Dr. Ed Barsley, a simulated rainstorm took place every so often in this landscape. The “weather” necessitated welly-wearing and umbrellas.  

She Grows Veg won a gold medal for their first exhibit at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Business owners Lucy Hutchings and Kate Cotterill started the heirloom edible seed company about a year ago to encourage folks to “stop growing boring vegetables.” Their marquee display reminded Annie of a group of Renaissance paintings.   



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