Monday 13 May 2013

Monday 13th May – Risky Progress! Hillier @The_RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Cool, grey and damp in Hampshire. This is often the weather we get in the run up to Chelsea.  Its funny, that’s never how I think of it. I suppose Chelsea is a bit like childhood holidays: you remember it as sunshine every day, not a cloud in the sky and never a problem.  I know Wes Fleming is excited – he’s tweeting well and the shot of their garden Nigel sent yesterday certainly looks impressive.  This of course is Wes’s last Chelsea; it must be true he said so. Think I’ve heard that somewhere before: I guess we are all a bit addicted!

Anyway the lads have made great progress over the weekend.  Looks like the trees have settled down after their journey to London and ordeal of being put into place.  They’ll enjoy the cool weather. We will too because it means slightly less watering: these are thirsty creatures. 

The team got excited on Saturday when my crocs turned up. No, not those shoes that no middle-aged man should ever be seen in, my African crocodile sculptures on loan from They really are quite magnificent.  I see them slinking through the gunneras, maybe with those twisted willows. I wonder who I’ll give that part of the exhibit to.  Pip suggested the crocs should be called Andy and Ricky. I asked which was which. She said the one with the nice legs was Ricky. Clearly beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I’m thinking she needs to spend time with these two.

 The M&M Timber team got the deck down and painted on Saturday – great job! Today they are putting up the building.  I’ve had it painted lavender; looks a bit darker than I imagined.  That’s one thing that you never really get used to; the light in the Pavilion plays tricks!

Steve and Luke have really cracked on laying the walkway through the exhibit. The organicstone paving looks simply amazing. They’ve already got the ‘Bean’ in place too. That’s what I like – decisiveness. I might have messed around for ages deciding on the angle; but now its down I know it will work.

I did have a bit of a sleepless night last night. I got rather cold feet over the colour I requested for the Sui Generis water features.  I want to do my best for these guys and I want the Aqua Corona pools to look awesome.  I also want the colour to work with Mehrdad’s crystal fountains. Anyway they are now on site and from the picture they look fabulous!

Of course they also have to work with Tom Stogdon’s towering sculpture ‘Monument’. They got this into position over the weekend and Tom sounded happy with where I’ve sited it.  I think we may have to raise it on a plinth so that it doesn’t get lost into the planting, but I’ll worry about that tomorrow.
Back at base Sue is packing up Tea, coffee, cakes and biscuits galore! That reminds me, I still need to buy the beer. Bent Banani have had a mega weekend on shirt sales; undoubtedly the model that’s made the difference. What do you mean who is it?

So far, so good. I’m not intending to head to the show today, however it’s hard to stay in the office. The gravity of Planet Chelsea is strong and maybe, just maybe I’ll be on a train to London very soon.

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