RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017
Chelsea here we come! Our plants are off up to Chelsea Flower Show this week! We’re proud to be supplying two trade stand show gardens – The David Harbour stand designed by Nic Howard of We Love Plants and the Chilstone stand designed by Allister Dempster of Sandstone Design Solutions.
In 2016 we collaborated with Nic Howard on The David Harbour stand helping it win Best in Show and 5 Stars (the highest merit)!
*** We’re very proud to announce that both stands won the top merit ’5 Star’ award ***
Show garden with a twist!!
This weekend saw our annual September outing to the Penshurst Craft Fair held at Penshurst Place. Ourselves, along with our good friends Chilstone from Tunbridge Wells join forces to create a mini show garden and stand.
Having attended the show for the last five years, twice a year, it’s always difficult to come up with a fresh idea for a garden!
This time round, we gave the garden a bit of a twist and made an old 1972 VW camper van the main centrepiece!
The stunning camper has been fully restored to it’s original glory, with shiny new paint job and re-conditioned engine. The tax exempt classic is not used as a show vehicle, but for its intended purpose for camping weekends and trips to Devon & Cornwall. With this in mind, we thought we’d put ‘Doona’ the van to work over the weekend.
With some wispy grasses and colourful late season perennials, we put a smile on the show-goers faces. The sun shone down on us and plant sales were great – roll on May for the next show garden! What to do next???”!
How quickly this season seems to be going!! With such good Spring weather and fantastic sales, it’s all been a bit of a blur!! Coupled with us growing for RHS Malvern and Chelsea Flower Shows, there’s never a dull moment here at the nursery!
Throw into the mix this week the Penshurst Craft Fair held within the wonderful grounds at Penshurst Place. The twice-annual event is a showcase for some of the best arts and crafts available to buy, all held under the same (marquee!) roof.
We, in conjunction with our good friends Chilstone of Fordcombe create a mini show garden and can be seen at the entrance to the show. Be inspired with our Spring planting combinations and some of the finest garden ornaments all hand made at their site locally.
An extra twist to our garden this year will be the addition of Nigel Hartfield, who will be demonstrating some stone engraving within the garden!!
Last weekend saw How Green make a rare public outing with our plants! We only attend three shows per year, two of them being at Penshurst Place for their Spring and then Autumn craft fairs.
We have a strong working relationship that goes back nearly thirty years with Penshurst Place, as we stock their plant stand on a weekly basis and hire our topiary for weddings in the great Barons Hall. Coupled with the venue only ten minutes from the nursery, it’s natural for us to make the annual pilgrimage!
We arrived on Thursday in blistering heat, exceeding 30oC, to build a mini show garden in conjunction with Chilstone from Fordcombe. To celebrate Chilstone’s 60th anniversary, we created a diamond shaped garden around one of their fantastic fountains that acted as the centrepiece. A local copper artist also showcased his art with a wonderful contemporary garden chair and…………..a bath! We here at How Green have never been asked to base a show garden around a bath, but there’s a first time for everything!
The planting plan used a variety of grasses and late flowering perennials to create a naturalistic, prairie style of planting. We used plenty of Echinaceas, Agastaches, Salvias and Nepeta. Within minutes of setting up the garden, it was awash with bees, hoverflies and butterflies – a truly magnificent sight! We also attended with our own plant stand, with lots of our new plants for 2014 on sale. Our display looked wonderful with our Heucheras, displaying no less than 46 different varieties!
The old saying ‘ how different one day from the next can be’ couldn’t be more apt at the show! Suffering from sunburn and dehydration from setting up the garden, Friday slapped us in the face with……Autumn! Rain, wind and only 16oC! thankfully the weather improved on Saturday and sales were great. Sunday was again changeable, but it was great to see so many enthusiastic gardeners out there, eager to get their gardens into shape for Autumn!
This week sees a busy time at the nursery with a trade open day on Friday 13th (hope it’s not a bad omen! – see side bar) and then our last public open weekend of the year. We open our gates on Saturday 14th & Sunday 15th and a warm welcome to all to browse our strictly wholesale only nursery. Our nursery is at capacity and full to bursting with plants for the 2014 season. Many new additions on offer. If plant shopping gets all to much for you, relax in our Summer house with an array of tasty home made cakes and teas!