Published on 3 - June - 2009
RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2009 highlightsDIY Week paid a visit to the gardening event of the year to see what inspiration some of the industry's biggest names had to offer. Click through for Chelsea image gallery.
Greener, more sustainable gardening was the order of the day at the Chelsea Flower Show this year. The Daily Telegraph won the award for Best Show Garden with its emphasis on natural plant communities.
Principal sponsor of the show, Marshalls won a Silver-Gilt for its show garden, 'The Marshalls Living Street', which featured a four fascias of terraced houses and their front gardens. Materials used included the landscape specialist's permeable paving system, which prevents rainwater run-off. After Chelsea closed its doors, the entire garden is to be donated to the Living Streets charity.
QVC teamed up with designer Adam Frost to create its Silver award-winning show garden, which featured a raised herb bed, fire pit and stone walls carved with poetry.
Show garden 'Future Nature', created by Ark Design Management Ltd offers practical solutions that can be used to create a natural and drought-resistant garden in an urban environment.
The garden, which received a Silver-Gilt medal, included a living tower holding drought-resistant plants, butterfly mounds and insect towers, providing an array of wildlife habitats.
Top Gear presenter James May wowed the crowds with his own take on an urban garden with 'Paradise in Plasticine' - a garden made entirely from plasticine. Although it didn't qualify for an official medal, the show's organisers had a plasticine version made up for Mr May and his team.
TV gardening presenter David Domoney's urban garden 'Ace of Spades', which featured an array of recycled spade heads was awarded as Silver-Gilt medal, as was Chris Beardshaw's Dawn Chorus garden, sponsored by Bradstone. The garden, designed to capture the beauty of first light, also incorporated Bradstone's sustainable Enviromasonary blocks.
B&Q teamed up with All Seasons Design and Landscaping and charity Help for Heroes to create its Sanctuary Garden. Designed by army wife Drusilla Stewart, whose husband has been deployed to Afghanistan, the Sanctuary Garden aims to provide a peaceful space for the recuperating servicemen and women. The garden was auctioned off at the end of the show to raise funds for Help for Heroes.
Big names in the industry, including Kubota, Haxnicks and Scotts all had stands at the London-based show. Bosch proudly displayed the Gold Award it achieved at the Industry Awards for its Ciso cordless secateurs and even managed to sell a pair to Prince Philip on press day at the show.
Bosch's Gary King stressed how important the Chelsea Flower Show is for the company. "We've been exhibiting here for something like 20 years and it really gets us out to our key target audience. We take our sales force off the road for a week and it means they get to talk to the end user and find out about the problems they have in the garden and what they're looking for in a tool."
Some gardens and nurseries took the decision to drop out of the show this year as a result of the tough economic climate. However, Mr King told DIY Week it was never an option for Bosch. "We look at every penny we're spending and this year is no different. Obviously it is a major financial commitment to be at Chelsea but from the point of view of the target audience, it is pretty vital that we are here. We've been fantastically busy and had plenty of people on the stand so it works well for us."
Hillier Nurseries won its 64th Chelsea Gold medal for its entry 'Gardening for the Time of Your Life'. Taking centre stage in the Great Pavilion, the garden, designed by managing director Andy McIndoe, aims to show the various stages of our gardening lives, including 'Surviving Suburbia', 'Coping with Kids' and concluding with 'Pushing up the Daisies'.
The intricate garden was put together by Mr McIndoe and his team in just one week, following the construction of the Great Pavilion in the Royal Hospital grounds.
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