Archive for June, 2011
Gill from Just Air Plants dropped off some plants for my Conceptual garden yesterday – air plants are plants that grow in jungle canopies and don’t need any soil – literally taking all their nutrients and water through their leaves. At BBC Gardener’s World Live last year, where I built my first show garden, Joe Swift commented that my aluminum cold frames reminded him of a Damien Hirst installation.
Not quite up to Damien Hirst’s work – but kind of him to make the suggestion!
Day 2 was a great day’s building. We’d been slightly phased by the dire weather on the first day, plus I think it took us a while to get our heads around starting.
My builder John-William and his dad, Bill, both came up today and they work so well together that we really cracked most of the build. I have spent pretty much every day of the last year with John-William and Bill as they were building an extension on our house and I think knowing people that well really helps on a project like this. So from the computer model below:
To the gallery taking shape:
I don’t think there’s much to say really…it was pretty wet up there today!
This is my site after 2 hours of torrential rain.
Hampton Court Palace Flower Show ‘Build Up’
I had an email from a journalist at Landscape Juice today saying that she was interested in running a story on the build up of my garden and she also informed me of an interesting green wall outside the National Gallery to mimic a Van Gogh painting – seems like art and plants are very in vougue at the moment.
Time for bed – I will try and keep an update on the build progress but I imagine I’ll be having a few long days for a couple of weeks.
I had a call at 11am this morning from BBC Radio Berkshire saying that their contributor had dropped out for the Anne Diamond Show today and would I be interested in going in to talk about my Hampton Court Garden. So an hour later I was sitting in the studio about to talk about my garden. Luckily, having thought about little else for the last few weeks, it’s quite easy to think of things to say. I had a really lovely time and it reminded me that this whole process is supposed to be fun and enjoyable and not the stressful mission that it sometimes feels like.
Listen to the Interview here – I’m on at about 2 hours in.
An amazing part of this job is the diversity…I was on the phone yesterday to a metal supplier in Finland asking about some pre–patinated copper sheet that I’d like to use in the show garden…he was very sweet but said it would take 8 weeks to order. As I need it in 2 days this was not what I wanted to hear. I know I have left it late, but trying to think of good backdrops for the planting compositions has been harder than I thought. I was then set on the idea of a lovely aged green copper backdrop for the Kandinsky creation – inspired by the painting below.
I did however, track down a company who happened to stock this particular metal sheet – cunningly named ‘Metal Sheets’ , so it is now being packaged up and will hopefully arrive tomorrow. I chose the above painting, Sketch for Several Circles, Wassily Kandinsky 1926, as I thought it would be great to showcase some beautiful plants with either spherical flower heads such as the stunning Echinops ritro ‘Veitch’s Blue’ (below) or spherical in shape such as a Buxus sempervirens ball.
It also gives me a chance to include some garden sculpture and I found a lovely metal garden sphere from The Edge Company – by the designer Garth Williams based in Sussex.
I’m building a conceptual garden, Picturesque, at Hampton Court Palace Flower Show this year – 26 days to go and I’m feeling like I’m on adrenaline fueled auto-pilot! The show’s from the 5th-10th July for anyone thinking of visiting.
I’m building an out door art gallery where pieces of art, inspired by some of the worlds greatest artists, will be composed of plants. The idea originated from wanting to create ‘views’ out of a small space – something that I believe is an important part of my job as a garden designer. It slowly evolved as I began looking at framing views, galleries and then on to looking at how artists interpret nature.
So my artists are chosen: Monet, Hockney, Rousseau, Kandinsky, Mondrian and Hirst. Planting compositions range from Water lilies to Jungle plants to Air Plants – the latter only needing the air around them to survive and hence are part of my Hirst creation where they will be suspended – as if in Formaldehyde – in a glass tank. In my head it all works – I just hope the real thing works in practice.
I start building in 8 days time so lists and schedules are abundant as is paint, wood, sculptures, a pond and plants to look after.
Although the category of Conceptual Garden at Hampton Court is Sponsored by the RHS – a huge thank you has to go out to my additional contributors – Benchmarx Kitchens and Joinery for all the materials they have given me and Pantiles Nursery for lending me some of their superb quality plants.