Courtyard Garden Exhibitors Chelsea 2007

Courtyard Garden Exhibitors Chelsea 2007
A Touch of France
‘Le Jardin de Vincent’

Designers: Patricia Thirion and Janet Honour
Rupert’s Landscapes: 
Veolia Water UK PLC:
Aylett Nurseries Ltd:
Capel Manor College:
McArthur Fencing Ltd

Press Contact: Patricia Thirion
Press Tel: 020 8950 2472 or 079411 63495

Contractor: Russell Brook, Rupert’s Landscapes

Exhibitor Address: A Touch of France, 160 Merryhill Road, Bushey, Herts WD23 1DG

‘Le Jardin de Vincent’ is bringing a touch of Provence to Chelsea. The French themed garden also brings to life fragments of Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings, from the ‘Yellow House’ to the famous ‘Irises’. Other Van Gogh associations include a straw hat, pipe and tobacco and yellow chair.

Between 1888 and 1890, Van Gogh stayed in Provence where, stimulated by the quality of light and the surroundings, he produced some of his most famous paintings.  He loved gardens and was fascinated by the shapes and colours of sunflowers, irises and cypresses growing locally.  This is a design to inspire the artist in all of us.

A typical Provencal house, with French roof tiles (canal tuiles), a simple wooden door and thick green shutters, forms the backdrop to the garden. This yellow rendered house is evocative of where Vincent stayed and later painted.  There is an easel in the centre of the garden with a half completed painted image of ‘Irises’.  By the door, which is partially ajar to suggest the artist has stepped away for brief moment into the house, are dried sunflower heads and a pair of old garden boots.

Le Jardin de Vincent is composed of soft gentle greys, greens and blues.  These colours bring to life the striking blue of the irises and sunshine orange in the Calendula (marigolds).  A fig and oleander lean lazily against the house and three Italian cypresses brood, dark green, in the North West corner by the window.  A small olive tree provides welcome shade and is surrounded by lavenders, cotton lavenders, thyme and ox-eye daisies.  Calamatrostis leaves mimic the wheat fields so often painted by Van Gogh and a splash of red is provided by geraniums in terracotta pots on the window sill of the house. 

The planting is drought resistant, requires minimal watering and is able to survive long, hot and dry summers.  Stone chippings, spread throughout the garden, help to conserve water.

This is the first time that Patricia Thirion and Janet Honour are exhibiting at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.  They met at Capel Manor, one of the UK’s leading horticultural colleges, and subsequently set up their garden design company – ‘A Touch of France’.

A W Gardening Services
‘The OId Gate’
Designer: Adam Woolcott (Principal Designer)  Jonathan Smith (Co-Designer)
Site number: RM 11
Sponsor: Croudace Homes
Press Contact: Adam Woolcott
Press Tel: 07976 658 618
Contractor: Cormac Conway
Exhibitor Address: AW Gardening Services, 88 Barrells Down Road, Bishop's Stortford, Herts CM23 2SX

‘The Old Gate’ is an old English farmyard from around the 1930s.  This rustric retreat creates a sense of nostalgia by evoking memories from the past and, by going back in time, aims to show how we can think about, and help protect, the future.  It is a garden to help protect the environment, promote wildlife and save historic fruit and vegetable varieties. 

In less troubled times this small garden was lovingly tended, but war has changed this.  Flowers and now seemingly superfluous plants have been replaced by rows of vegetables and, without regular loving care, wildflowers and grasses have crept among the once cherished herbaceous perennials.  The garden is a disheveled, but still beautiful, mix of man made and mother nature.

The farm is growing food to boost the ‘Dig for Victory’ campaign.  ‘The Old Gate’ aims to highlight the plight, and possible loss of heritage fruit and vegetables, such as the vegetable ‘Hutterite’, which is a variety of French bean that dates back to the 1750s.  The key specimen plant is an old, semi-mature, pear tree variety, ‘Beurré Hardy’.  As many songbirds are in decline, this garden also incorporates wild plants that attract insects and provide seeds and berries and, therefore, food for birds. 

Features and structures in this garden reflect the 1930s to 1940s theme; an old red brick wall surrounds the garden and there is also a stable door, path built of stable blocks and a lean-to shelter.  The old gate itself is an old wooden farm gate in keeping with the era.  Other farmyard memorabilia inlcudes antiqute tools, an old-fashioned chicken feeder and water tank.

This is the Adam Woolcott’s second time at Chelsea; last year his garden not only won an RHS Gold Medal, but also the BBC/RHS People’s Award for best small garden in the Show.

Anthea Guthrie Garden Design
Designer: Andrea Guthrie
Site number: RM 16
Press Contact: Anthea Guthrie
Press Tel: 01446 710423
Exhibitor Address: Broadclose Farm, Broadclose Lane, Moulton Vale of Glamorgan.
CF62 3AB

Welcome to the court of Henrietta Maria and Charles 1st,  keen thespians - so keen, they insisted on taking time off to learn their lines even at the height of the civil war.  Henrietta Maria favoured the playwright Ben Johnson, who wrote 'Chloridia', and this stage set is for that play. 
Chloridia was a heavenly goddess who lived among the stars, but was transformed by Juno, the wind god, into Flora, the goddess of flowers.  She was sent to the earthly world - 'so the earth shall have her starres and lights as heaven'.  The play was a flattery to Henrietta Maria who, having divine right, was able to intervene between heaven and earth.
The King and Queen liked to go on royal 'progression', visiting aristocratic families who would be expected to provide elaborate and expensive hospitality.  The designer Anthea Guthrie imagined a place created as a diversion in one of the great estates during a progression.  Henrietta Maria can indulge her love for acting in this stage set, a love considered scandalous at a time when female parts were played by boys, and the country was riven by religious differences.   Small, private garden rooms were found adjacent to the 'big house' for the family to enjoy ; this is one of those rooms, known as a 'pleasance' .
The Queen was a patron of French garden designer Andre Mollet and the shape of the parterre is taken from a much bigger design of his discovered in its original portfolio by Anthea Guthrie in the RHS Lindley library.  The lily throne has been hand carved by Dominic Walpole from Welsh oak. The backdrop is taken from the original design by Inigo Jones, the architect responsible for Somerset House and has been painted on hessian, as it would have been then, by Dave Keast and Tony Constantinescu.  
Henrietta Maria was the 'French lily' married to the 'English rose', and was popularly known as the Rose and Lily Queen. Anthea was thrilled to realise on a chance visit that the inscription on the tombstone of famous plant hunter John Tradescant and his son, in the Museum of Garden History,  makes reference to Henrietta Maria as 'My rose and lily Queen'.  White quartered old English roses and white lilies are the only flowers on the garden and symbolise the purity and chastity of the Royal marriage.
Anthea Guthrie won Most Creative Small Garden at BBC Gardeners’ World Live last year.  She has been a self employed garden rescuer for the last four years.  Anthea was inspired to create this garden while she was building her 'Mayflower' garden at Hampton Court last summer - one of the homes of Charles and Henrietta Maria. For years she thought the RHS Flora medals involved  sponsorship  from a margarine: although it is unlikely anyone else thought the same, if they did, then this garden should put them right..

Berkshire College of Agriculture
‘Tufa Tea’

Designer: Kati Crome
Site number: RM 12
Press Contact: Kati Crome
Press Tel: 01494 868705
Contractor: Berkshire College of Agriculture, Construction Department
Exhibitor Address: Berkshire College of Agriculture, Hall Place, Burchetts Green, Maidenhead, Berks.SL6 6QR

‘Tufa Tea’ is about taking tea after tennis in a 1930s surburban garden.  A rustic pergola, crazy paving, tufa rock garden and laburnum tree bring to life the 1930s theme.

At the front of ‘Tufa Tea’ a variety of period rock and alpine plants take centre stage in a tufa rock garden.  A low pivet hedge runs along the side of the crazy paving, whilst above roses and clematis climb the rustic pergola.

Period varieties of antirrhinum, delphinium, dianthus, hollyhocks and lupins grow at the back of the garden and Eccremocarpus and Tropaeolum cover a tennis court fence.  The laburnum tree and Weigela provide height. 

This is Kati Crome’s, the garden designer, second time at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.  She says that horticulture has always been a family passion, going back at least three generations.  Kati worked as a TV graphic designer and special effects producer for over twenty years and decided to train in garden design after her children started school.  Kati now runs her own garden design company.

Brinsbury Campus, Chichester College
‘Casa Forte ‘A Mediterranean Retreat’’

Designer: Stephen Firth and Nicola Ludlow-Monk
Site number: 13
Press Contact: Nicola Ludlow-Monk
Press Tel: 01243 786 321 ext 1124
Exhibitor Address: North Heath, Pulborough, West Sussex.RH20 1DL

Stephen Firth came up with this concept whilst holidaying with his family in Greece last summer. The concept is to fuse styles from across the Mediterranean region to create a small courtyard with a relaxed holiday feeling that could be replicated easily in a small garden space of a backyard.

The space is enclosed by North African ‘rammed earth walls’ capped with handmade Roman tiles; these and the wood used are all to give an aged rustic appearance. The ground surface is a combination of crushed limestone areas and geometric tiles set in a mosaic paying homage to the Moorish influence. A porch with a door suggests an entrance to a house beyond. Silver foliage plants on the outer part of the garden capture the feeling of a hot dry countryside and contrast with cool lush green foliage within the courtyard walls.

Designer Stephen Firth won a Silver-Gilt at Chelsea 2006, but this is co-designer Nicola Ludlow-Monk’s first time at Chelsea.  Nicola says ‘I am a bit in awe of Chelsea…and the responsibility of carrying the torch for our college is a bit daunting, I can only do my best!’

Capability Chris
Designer: Chris O'Donoghue
Site number: 14
Sponsor: Robert Patch Furniture
Press Contact: Chris O'Donoghue
Press Tel: 01580 240817 / 07887 554 412
Exhibitor Address: Duncton Mayes Standen Street Iden Green Benenden Kent
TN17 4HP

In the early 20th century, redundant Victorian railway carriages were installed along the coast near Rye in East Sussex as holiday homes. ‘Shinglesea’ is inspired by these holiday homes and aims to capture the atmosphere of the 30s when the pace of life was less hurried. It will provide a haven, away from the bustle of 21st century life.

The garden recreates a ‘seaside’ scene, with drought-resistant plants growing through a shingle mulch. The side of a railway carriage forms the background of the garden, with a tin-roofed veranda for shelter and Sempervivums growing in the folds of the metal. Authentic period carriage handles have been loaned by the local Kent and East Sussex Steam Railway. A split chestnut fence, garlanded with ‘hagstones’, (beach pebbles with holes), encloses the garden and a driftwood path leads up to the front door. A small wood clinker-built dinghy lies in the garden awaiting repair – one day.

The plants have been chosen to suit the location and to be easily cared for, requiring little or no maintenance. Most are chosen for their structure but overall have a wide flowering period, from late spring to autumn. The colour scheme is red, through pink to white with a blaze of red Papaver rhoeas centre stage, with Briza media and Stipa gigantea growing through to give lightness and height. Cynara cardunculus and Crambe maritima give height and structure while Armeria, Santolina and geraniums provide mounds of shape and colour. Between the timber steps of the path, thymes and Erigeron are planted with Festuca glauca brushing the edge of the path.

This is designer Chris O’Donoghue’s first time at Chelsea.

Green Ink Gardens Ltd
‘The CAF Giving Garden – Where the Wild Things Are’
Designer: Tiggy Salt
Site number: RM 8
Sponsor: Charities Aid Foundation (CAF
Press contact:  Rosie Harkness
Press contact tel:  0203 076 1331
Press contact email:
Exhibitor Address: The Octagon 36C The Limes Linden Gardens London
W2 4ET

The inspiration for this garden comes from the globally famous children’s book, ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ by Maurice Sendak. 

In the book the protagonist Max has been sent to bed without his supper for bad behaviour and. as he slips into sleep, he dreams that his bedroom has become a forest.  The focal poing of ‘The CAF Giving Garden – Where the Wild Things Are’ is his bed, which is planted with a camomile lawn, lavender and passionflower.  These are all plants with sleep-inducing properties to suggest the dreamscape of the story.

Sendak has designed many sets for opera and theatre and his work demonstrates a fascination with plants.  Tiggy Salt, the garden designer, says it has been challenging but fun trying to identify the plants in the books.  Irises have been selected to suggest the strong verticals at the foot of his bed, hosta to approximate the fat juicy tongue-like plants and some exuberant specimens such as banana, elephant’s ears, flowering rhubarb, artichoke and angelica to anticipate the arrival of Wild Things who appear later in the tale. 

A Moon Swing is an important structual feature within the garden as the moon has always held great significance for Sendak, with many of his stories taking place at night with the moon ever present.

This is Tiggy’s first exhibt at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. 

Moving Spaces
‘Moving On…’

Designers: Teresa Davies, Steve Putnam and Samantha Hawkins
Site number: RM 10
Sponsor: TBC
Press Contact: Samantha Hawkins
Press Tel: 07895 048012
Exhibitor Address: Moving Spaces 52 Matthewsgreen Road, Wokingham BERKS
RG41 1JU

This garden belongs to a couple who have downsized from an agricultural background.  ‘Moving On…’ is a traditional, easily maintained garden, which is both productive and pretty.  It reflects the couple’s Victorian terraced cottage, the changing climates and the needs of the 21st Century.  Capturing modern and environmental issues, this sustainable garden mirrors traditional values using terracotta, wood and wattle.

The garden is viewed from the cottage and there is an original brick wall boundary at the rear, which forms part of the privy.  The privy has been lovingly restored with reclaimed timber and is now used as a utility area.  A rendered brick wall surrounds a circular seating area and provides a raised bed to the back of the garden.

The drought tolerance of plants has been considered in this garden as climate change has reduced rainfall in the area.  Plants such as succulents and lavenders feature and the garden includes organic straw mulch.

A willow obelisk near the cottage provides height, structure and balance and memorabilia, such as a tin bath, wooden racks, seed trays and a traditional rake, act as planters or plant supports.  A Len Gifford orignal bronze sculpture ‘The Kissing Heads’, one of the couple’s most treasured possessions, is also used as a planter.  A second Len Gifford creation, a bronze make, is hidden amongst climbers on the wall.  The elegent beauty of the bronze contrasts with the more rugged appearance of an old galanvized watering can.

The three designers, Teresa Davies, Steve Putnam and Samantha Hawkins, met while studying the RHS Level 2 Certificate in Horticulture at Merrist Wood College, Guildford.  Covering three generations, the team come from very different backgrounds.  This is their first time at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and they say that exhibiting at the world-famous flower show is a dream come true.

Uchiyama Landscape Consturacyion Co Ltd
Designer: KKoji Ninomiya

Site number: RM 9
Press Contact: KKoji Ninomiya
Press Tel: 81 -265 25 4856
Exhibitor Address: 3558 - 1 Ditoku Tanushimaruchou Kurume-shi Fukuoka-Ken Japan

This garden is a fusion of East and West design. Designer Koji Ninomiya combines the Japanese sense of living close to nature with inspiration from the scenic English countryside.

The garden is based on a Japanese traditional garden and is mixed with English garden style. Designer Koji Ninomiya believes that the future of garden style will be a fusion of Eastern and Western design.

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