An RHS Show Garden

Wednesday 4th April, 2012

So I’ve been approached by the RHS to submit a design for a show garden for the BBC Gardeners’ World Live in June…

I’ve always wanted to do a show garden. It brings together perfectly my two careers from my past two decades; theatre design and landscape design. My initial plan was to gain some experience by assisting another show garden designer, and so yesterday I emailed the RHS to find out who might need some help at the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park this summer. Maybe next year I could attempt a small garden of my own…

The RHS lady who got back in touch had seen my website and noticed that I used to be a theatre designer; would I be interested in designing a ‘Career Change’ show garden this year, for designers who have made a transition to garden design or a career in horticulture? The application deadline had already passed (2nd March) so basically could I submit my design, including materials, planting list and costings, within a week?

Naturally, with my luck, 4 days of this week is the long bank holiday Easter weekend.

My initial response was  ‘No way!’ I mean, what sane person would agree to that deadline? Then I woke up today and found myself emailing back today to say that I am interested. Oh god. Where to start?

Now I’m on a mission. I have spent the rest of the day making many phone calls. To many people. All of whom don’t want to get involved. Larger contractors and smaller landscapers who won’t do show gardens anymore. Too much work, not enough money. Lots of people telling me I was mad. Lots of nurseries telling me of course they can’t supply me plants for the beginning of June with such short notice. They need 9 months notice for Chelsea! I would be planting up in about 10 weeks. Would I?

My god. What am I actually doing?

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