Episode 11 RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Episode 11

Alan Titchmarsh and Rachel de Thame discover how the themes of water, boundaries and the British countryside are dominating the exhibits at this year's Chelsea Flower Show.

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As gardeners, we follow fashion just like everybody else. When


decking was declared the new block paving, grasses the new ferns.


Water features the new ponds, we dashed out to buy them in the name


of progress. It is because of these revolutions that over the years our


outdoor space has evolved, but who decides what we should grow and


sow? Where are the concepts born? Many would agree it is at Chelsea


Flower Show. Once a year the best designers and growers help shape


the the the future. Chris Beardshaw discovers Chelsea's plans for an


irrigation nation. Planting to his own tune, musician and artist,


Goldie reveals his gardening passions.


Me, Goldie, drum and base man, vegetables. Can you believe it?


Paul Barney shows his taste. I have to keep my wife off this


because she is really dying to use it for cooking.


Welcome to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show supported by M&G Investments.


It is day four of Chelsea and today is one of the busiest and hottest


yet. So forgive me taking off my jacket and if I get into a pool by


the end of the programme, you will know why. It is a Chelsea first.


The gates were open to anyone lucky enough to have a ticket. As soon as


the gates open, the crowds head down there and along there, the


Rock Bank to see the show gardens. This year, it has been spectacular.


It has been fantastic. It is so busy down there though. Have you


tried to walk through? I have. It has been difficult. Did you see


Furzey Gardens and Chris Beardshaw's garden today? I did.


It was awash with golden balloons. He has been working with this


wonderful team of kids with learning difficulties. He rang them


and said, "We got a Gold Medal.". There was a huge crowd of them.


Do you think Chris cried again? He has not admitted to it it! The


mission is to pro provoke opinion and influence how we think and


challenge decisions and even persuade us as to what we should


buy. This year there is a message filtering through about planning


for a future where water can no longer be taken for granted. Chris


went to look at the designs show garden designers this year is


the sustainable management of water. Of course, the big question is why


should gardeners be concerned about that? This season more than any


demonstrates just what can happen when seasonal variations cause


drought and deluge. For gardeners, there is a more fundamental reason


why we should be concerned with how we manage water within our plots


and that's that the plants that we grow and fall in love with, that


create our landscapes, are governed by water. The nutrients and the


organisms that release the nutrients, they rely on water being


present in the soil and in the plant. This Blue Water Garden is an


example of what can be done. A subtle adjustment of typeography


encourages the rainwater to flow towards the beds and towards the


reservoirs at its heart. Plants have been selected for their


Charles Kennedyistics of being -- characteristics of being able to


cleanse the water before come nothing the reservoirs. Examples of


that luzula luzula nivea, the choice of plant material all able


cope with deluge and long-term drought.


Management of water doesn't necessarily dictate the style of


your design solution as demonstrated here. Where gutter


down pipes and water butts are converted to sculptural features.


It is no surprise that here amongst the fresh gardens, there are


innovative design solutions in terms of water management. On the


soft machine garden here, grey water. That's water that's been


used in the house ends up in a tank in the garden. And then, when you


exercise, pedalling the bike, the water is pumped out of the grey


water tank, via this front axle and the pump here up into the green


wall. The green wall has a volcanic sub strait, which helps cleanse out


the toxins and pollutants. That cleansed water ends up in a fresh


reservoir in the garden. It can be used for for irrigation.


This garden shows real innovation in breaking the tradition and


inefficient link between rain that falls on a roof and it being wasted


as it spills down a gutter. What they have done here is to simulate


the roof-line, the water drains through into a traditional gutter,


into a down pipe and a water butt and there is a watering can here,


but then any overflow goes into a reservoir. The really exciting


thing is what happens when you want to irrigate because this is linked


to a series of of rills which are permeable. Water isn't wasted, it


goes to where the plants need it at the roots. This is an old technique.


In fact, it is the very technique that was employed by the ancient


Egyptians. They were able to take walk from the Nile and pull the


sluicegate and suddenly the If you press the Red Button, you


can find out more about how weather has an impact on the way gardens


are designed to deal with extremes in our weather patterns. Don't


press yet! Wait until after the programme!


Over the last few months, the weather has been causing jip.


Yesterday, I caught up with Alys Fowler.


It has been a fiendish spring to start vegetable growing. We were


lulled by that warm March and it got cold.


Cold and anything you attempted to sow, rotted.


You would encourage people, there is time, start sewing now? Plenty


of time to catch up, particularly if it will stay like this. It will


be fine. There is no problem. When you come here, where is the


first place you head? I headed straight to Edulis. He is a


specialist grower of rare and unusual edibles. I knew it was his


first time at Chelsea and I couldn't wait to see what he


brought. No disappointments. I fell in love


No disappointments. I fell in love with this plant.


Now I have a fantasy of making a woodland of it.


Once it was peas and beans and giant cabbages!


What's the trend forward? What are the things that are coming in that


are surprising? There is going to be a big trend around perennial


vegetables because they offer a low maintenance plan. You don't have to


be there sowing every spring. that? Artichokes, but Edulis is


putting all sorts of extraordinary things.


Do we need to be more adventurous? You need to have a balance. The


unusual stuff, you can't survive, they are little tastes of things.


You still need your potatoes and carrots.


You have a wonderful system? I have been looking for a solution to grow


peas in pots. It is a charming pattern and you get three of them


so you can interlock them. I think peas and sweet peas and


gothic arches are a cut above the with gothic arch peas supports!


With 85% of people in the UK living in towns and cities, gardens make


up a huge amount of the landscape so the things we grow and how we


grow them can have more effect than we think. Rachel, has been taking a


look around the RHS environment marquee to find out how working


together in our back gardens can large and impressive show gardens


and beautiful plants. There is also a strong educational message and


I'm here on the garden designed by the University of Leeds where they


are getting the message across about how much you can grow in a


small space. It is delicious and looks beautiful and most


importantly, you are cutting down on the food miles. If you are


growing your own, well you want to maximise that crop by encouraging


lots of beneficial, pollinating bees and insects into the garden.


So give them their own tailor-made environment. Well, water


conservation and management has become a key issue. Particularly


now that we are experiencing often periods of dry weather and then


sometimes a deluge, flash flooding as a result. So this garden, I


think, tackles these problems with real style and panache and here you


have this roof which is designed to absorb any rain and instead of the


run off coming down the the drain, this arrangement takes it down into


the water butt and any surplus can go into this graphled area and the


plants like having their feet just that little bit more wet so they


can cope with any extra run off. It looks good. It is extremely


practical. The other important message is to


minimise the amount of carbon dioxide that gets released into


atmosphere and you can help with that by planting plenty of trees


and shrubs and that helps to lock the carbon into the stems, into the


roots and actually into the soil itself. The other important thing


and it is so easy to do, is make your own compost. Don't buy it in.


You don't need a big space. This compost bin is not very large and


it is quick and easy to do and better for the environment and


berry festival. It has been a feature since 1967. Sadly, Ken


passed away last year, but his family and staff are committed to


growing fruit and inspiring other people to do the same. Roj, his son,


this -- Roger, his son, this is a tradition you were brought up in.


Dad started off in the Army and the family were in London, four


brothers, and he decided to be a fruit grower. He studied in


Chelmsford and and bought a farm at Clacton-on-Sea.


Are people still as keen on them? The great thing about them, these


are the soft fruits that you can grow in a small space as witnessed


by your pots? These are self- watering tower pots. Strawberries


don't like being overwatered. So it is drawn up... It is drawn up


rather than rained down on. It is marvellous. It is an easy way of


growing. Keep them for three years. Give us a ring and put some more in.


The big thing about growing your own, is it still up there or


sliding a bit? We have moved into trees, but dad has always been


known as the strawberry man. Yes. Can I say the KM of Strawberries!


He never finished his book. He started it, but never got to the


end of it, The Rise And Fall Of A Strawberry Grower.


You have the Ken Muir straw better? Well, we had -- the Ken Muir


strawberry? Well, we had to do something for the old boy.


Can I try some? You know, I have always wanted to do this. Will you


pray for a re-take? Oh. Is that lovely? It is my first


English strawberry and it is fab. Ken Muir good on you. Don't talk


with your mouth full, Alan. Inspiring people to grow their own


is a passion. For Paul Barney it is a mission, he prides himself on


growing the most exotic, of course, for him, variety is the spice of


life. We caught up with Paul in a not so tropical Berkshire to see


what he had on the menu for his anyone who likes to eat something


from their garden. I have always been very passionate about planting,


since I was a little boy, growing vegetables for the local flower


show. It is good fun to introduce people to new plants and get them


to try them. I am at my happiest when I am doing this. I think of


myself as a plant hunter, in the loosest sense, in that I am always


looking for something unusual, something which is out of the


ordinary. I counted yesterday, I have been to 68 countries


altogether. It seems I have been travelling for a long time, and one


of my greatest joy is is going to a forest which I have not been too,


and sometimes you can go in and you will not be recognising anything,


it is like a wonderland. I just grow plants for the love of them.


If I love a plant, I will grow it. These are some I collected in


Georgia. It takes me back to the meadow I was sitting in, having a


picnic. These were from the corner of that field. And now, they have


come up! Designing the exhibit at Chelsea, I really tried to display


a range of unusual edible plants, which also can look fantastic. And


so, you have got a bit of both, you can have a plant which is going to


look great as well as produce something edible or medicinal. I


have got plants from most continents. We have got America,


Asia, Europe, Africa. We have got a pretty good Brabazon taken from all


over the world. I found this one, which has this wonderful foliage,


in a market in India. I have to keep my wife off this, because she


is really dying to use it for cooking. It is used a lot for onion


bhajis and she looks at it enviously. This one is marvellous.


The flowers come out like little dancing ladies, to about 2ft. The


amazing thing is, it flowers again on its leaves are later in the year.


So it is a double whammy. With any luck, they will be ready for


Chelsea. And we have got a plant here which is really tasty, this


one, known as the cuckoo flower. For me, it is an easy watercress.


It is just delicious. One of the plants that we Lavin the nursery is


the giant Himalayan rhubarb. It has proved to be a monster. The first


flower spikes were 15ft high, which is ridiculous. The leaves were


ridiculously big. But this one has fantastic, large, rhubarb stalks,


and tastes just like rhubarb, with a bit of apple. I have had a few


sleepless nights worrying about what could possibly go wrong, and


whether I have remembered everything, and that is still an


ongoing process! I am nervous about what to expect at Chelsea, because


it is just going there and not knowing. If you have done a show


before, you know what to expect and it is a lot easier. Just the number


of variables at Chelsea, gold would be lovely, but that would be a bit


of a high expectation. I would not be unhappy with anything less,


seeing as it is my first time. This might be your first Chelsea,


but you have already got a great fan, Alice Fowler, who came to me


yesterday, raving about your edible plants. So, you must be pleased to


be here, how did you get on? We got a silver, and we were very happy.


have got to ask you about the dancing ladies - did they make it?


Unfortunately they did not make it. Maybe another year. And the giant


rhubarb? That did make it, yes, it has grown about 2 two since we have


been here! One thing which has caught my eye is this one. It is a


pretty thing, but it really stings. What is special about this one? It


is a lovely, dainty plant, with a really long flowering season. It


will come into flower in April and finish probably late October. That


is superb. It is a tremendous performance, from one plant. This


one is the purple form of cow parsley - you seem to have


something bigger. I am very fond of growing the purple angelica, which


is a lovely foil for other plants in the garden. Does it come through


from seed? It does, you will get a high proportion of seedlings.


you have to weed out the green ones? I actually like to keep a few,


to get the degradation of tones, the mixture of the tones together.


Sometimes you will get them to flower again from the same stock,


but usually they will die after flowering. I think I will go for a


forest of purple Angelica. Many congratulations. Well, one man's


orange is another man's something else, and here at Chelsea, although


we are all good friends, there are moments, quite frankly, when I


would rather be alone. Andy Sturgeon has been showing that on


occasions, well-defined boundaries can be a good thing. Most of our


gardens have quite ordinary fences, hedges and walls. But the


boundaries can be an integral part of the design. This year at Chelsea,


there are some ingenious solutions as to how to enclose your garden.


These walls in the World Vision garden are made from a special


steel, which is now being used in architecture all over the world.


The horizontal lines create a bold statement, contrasting to the


vertical trunks of the trees. The colours mix perfectly. In this


garden, they have got a solid boundary, but it is alive. It is a


piece of living architecture. Not only does it increase the amount of


growing space in the garden, but it adds fantastic depth and texture.


This Land's End garden may not appear to be pushing any boundaries


it is all about biodiversity and attracting wildlife. This native


field maple hedge is a wonderful habitat for insects and birdlife.


This wall, which is made from locally sourced, Cornish stone,


will become a great home for all sorts of insects which will provide


a great food source for birds. Here in this rooftop garden, they


have got a living hedge, up on stilts. It is ideal for screening


neighbouring buildings, and it takes up very little valuable space


field too claustrophobic, you could just go for a partial screen, like


this one, in the Caravan Club Garden. This screen lets light come


through it, so it does not feel too enclosed. It works like a net


curtain, because I can see out that other people cannot easily see him.


This garden has no vertical barrier whatsoever. It just has this


beautiful, simple water feature which goes around the garden,


defining the space. The plants are unrestrained, and the views from


within are unrestricted. It goes to show that when it comes to


boundaries, there are no limits. I am very happy to have a hedge,


but anyway, we gardeners are diverse lot. We do not have a funny


handshake or anything, the first you might learn about a person's


green credentials is when carrots get mentioned over the garden fence.


But it is always a pleasure to share your passion with somebody


new, especially when they are as enthusiastic as you are. I would


never have suspected that musician and artist Goldie was a member of


the Gardening Club. But last week we caught up with him in his


outdoor sanctuary, and he could not wait to show us around.


Welcome to my garden, my little safe haven. It was an absolute bomb


when I came here, it was terrible. I did not really pay any attention


to it. It was concrete, all mashed up. I have always liked Japan, my


wife is Japanese. I wanted to give it that kind of theme, very minimal


as well. I lived a life of chaos for so long, and they always say,


there is a science in chaos, it works itself out. For me, I am


working this out, and it is coming out nicely. I like to pleasantly


surprised people. He has been growing that one for 25 years. It


is nice seeing stuff change. When you're young, it is like olives,


you get older, you start to have an appreciation for them. I guess my


wife is my biggest influence. She really brings out the sun for me.


She really inspired me to get in the garden and do stuff. She loves


cooking, she loves gardening. She is half Japanese, half Dutch. So,


maybe tulips have got something to do with it. It is really nice,


because even the little bamboos that I have got, they are really


beautiful, really lovely. A lot of them, we lost half of this side


because of the frost, we had a lot of babies in, and it was a


nightmare. My dad is from Miami, I practically lived in Miami for a


couple of years. The first thing I saw was palm trees on the way to my


dad's. It was one of those things, I had them when they were about


this high. But how they have grown?! This will be my first year


at Chelsea, I will be looking for ideas, some neat fencing ideas, and


also some topical stuff, which is durable. I want to try to pull in a


lot of different stuff, to bring in some things to fillet out a little


bit. I just got into vegetables for the last three years, and every


year, I have had a fantastic crop. Meet, vegetables - can you believe


it? What is the world coming to? I was growing courgette Skomer runner


beans, garlic, potatoes, everything. And then the frost came this year


and killed it all. It is like me being in a nightclub and not


playing any music. It is terrible. Birds singing, empty vegetable


patch - not good. Come on, sun! My vegetable needs you!


Goldie, few people would have thought you were a gardener.


would have thought it? You did not have a childhood which was much


involved with a garden in. Not at all. For a few years of your life,


gardening was not on your list. Definitely not. A friend of mine,


Richard, said to me, you have got to sort that garden out. He said,


let me show you what you can do with it. He came in and he went,


but these here, move that around. I thought, hang on a minute, that's


really nice. It changed my perception. Then my wife got hold


of me, and said, let's put some Japanese stuff in. She said, do you


like these? Do you like them? And then she brought me some Japanese


Maples. As soon as I started with that Japanese Dean, it took off


from there. So that was the moment. Does it come when you get a bit of


land that's your responsibility? You felt, "Yes, I ought to do


something." I was always in a tight environment and I never liked that


stuff, but having space, it is a work in progress. My wife always


says it is a work in progress. Going off and getting ideas and try


and working out what that work in progress might be. There is


something missing, because it is spaced out... You have room for a


few more features. But your veg patch, we have all


suffered this year because it was cold.


I was supplying my local store. I never thought it would be one of


those things I would think about and I would go to the local


supermarket and you would buy stuff and think that's all right, it is


yellow. Ritchie said, you have got this going on, let me sort the veg


patch out now. Second tier. We started growing this veg and then


it started getting enormous, the beans were coming out like this.


Right, a bit of stir fry. I'm eating it and it is just white and


it stays fresh for days. I feel with all the healthy eating and


stuff like that. Do you see yourself going on with


this and developing it and taking it on. It doesn't sound like a


flash in the pan? There is a couple of palms here and I'm thinking


"mine is bigger." Maybe next year. Well, you have done Maestro, I


think you ought to do Chelsea. I have got palms to remind me of


Miami and I have had these two close together and one is yellow,


flowering and one has got black seeds. The chap just said to me,


"You are pollinating. You have got male and female." The seeds will


make palms. Lovely to see you.


We will catch up with you later when you have had a tour around the


gardens! Still plenty to come on the RHS


Chelsea Flower Show supported by M&G Investments.


Boxing match - designers have explain why they have gone all


heavy metal. The colours dominating the show.


Rachel talks to Jo Thompson about parking the very first caravan on


Main Avenue. I never thought I would get so


emotional... About a tin box. She is just gorgeous.


The clipping of evergreen plants into ornamental shapes has been


drifting in and out of fashion since Roman times. It was launched


on its journey across Britain introducing a formal element to our


gardens that remained ever since. The 18th century saw it become


unfashionable. The Second World War bombed it. Its popularity has ebbed


and flowed. This year it is make ago comeback and versions can be


seen defining gardens across the showground. Carol went to see why


the qualifications to make these shapes. For a start, it is


evergreen. It has dense growth and it has small leaves, but this year


at Chelsea, people have used all sorts of different plants in very


imaginive ways to do just -- imagine stiff way to say just the


same -- imagine stiff ways to do the same. This is ilex crentia. It


is a Japanese plant and it is used in Japan and the States to do just


this sort of work. It is little known in this country,


but I think it has a great future. The use of these formal topiary


shapes rising out from foamy, froths of informal planting. I


would never of dreamt of using these as topiary, but it works


beautifully, but you have to keep on the ball when it comes to


snipping with the secretary secateurs.


At first sight this garden looks very formal and traditional, but


look again! Each one of these wonderful U-figures is different.


On closer inspection, having expected these figures to have been


arranged perfectly, you realise that they are not at all. They are


askew and you can imagine during the night that these enormous


figures probably move around a bit! This is what you call tra call


traditional topiary with a twist. Whichever plant you choose, and


however you care to display it, there is no doubt that topiary adds


a touch of class or should it be charge that had you brought topiary


into Chelsea showground and make it popular. How do you plead? Guilty.


Why do you like it? I like the way it provides scale and stops the eye


travelling around the garden too much and it helps anchor anchor


buildings into the land landscape. It is a great connector between the


landscape and the house. I love the art of clipping of the topiary. It


is one of the disciplines that I love.


Carol said yours is like little people. There is a personality to


to topiary? They are standing guard and they have a different character


and Jason from the Australian Garden is worried that one had a


bigger head than the other. That's the attraction. It off set the


symmetry that's going on there. Why do you think topiary went out?


I don't think it has, has it? Little corners.


Capability Brown. It is the great landscape movement


and they cleared the twidly bits away. It has always hung on? I I I


think it survived in cottage gardens and manor houses. In the


big important gardens, it did get lost. It is not as popular, but it


is something that I feel is very much of our gardening heritage and


you do see it, most villages that you go to, you will find topiary


plants and it has a revival and it is something that I have used for


years and years. So you would like to think that you


are bringing it back? I don't think it has gone away. The thing I like


about it. I like using sculpture and it is a good second best. It is


cheaper than buying a sculpture and you can do anything and it engages


you with the garden. I have 130 of them in my garden,


cones and balls and pyramids. I love them. Thank you very much for


championing topiary. beginnings of Chelsea Flower Show


and each year it becomes difficult for a designer and exhibitor to


bring something new to the showground, but that is what the


horticultural world expects. This year Jo Thompson has broken ground


and broken rules by bringing the first caravan on to Main Avenue.


Her vision is to celebrate our obsession for holidaying in the


British countryside. But also to remind us that our journey can


to go on a caravanning holiday. A few years ago, my children, they


were so desperate for us to go camping or caravanning and I did


research online for luxury caravans and ended up on this site that was


full of these 1950s trailers, American trailers and it was the


best holiday I've ever had. I got on to this site and tipped


the children out of the caravan, into a field, and I didn't see them


for a week! It is something new to have a


caravan in a Chelsea show garden. I think caravanning is becoming


fashionable again. It is interesting when I've talked to


people about this garden, their reaction is warm towards caravans


and just like all things 50s, vintage, we have gone from the term


glamping this glamorous camping to glam caravanning which I think is


lovely. When I started designing this garden, it was really meant to


be a garden with a caravan sitting in the corner that was an extra


room and looking through holiday photos, just to get inspiration, I


saw Doris in the background. Doris is a 1950s vintage Fisher caravan


which aren't made anymore. Aluminium, the paint stripped back


and she is beautiful, she is like a giant toaster. I made a phone call


and got measurements and realised she would be perfect, she will be


towed from the Isle of Wight up the motorway into London and on to the


showground and I think it's, again, I can't imagine her in a queue with


all these huge, articulated lorries all around her, but I think it will


be great and I can't wait to see day. At least once a day. The dog


would like to come three or four times a day if possible and it


really feels British. I don't think you can get anything more British


than a bluebell wood in the spring time.


Bluebells, primroses, the ladies smock or cuckoo flowers. Each time


of year, there is something else to catch the eye.


I love how you have got all these strong verticals of the trees and


they are not all in the distance, some are in the foreground and you


look through to other planting. I love the way it is all really loose


as well and there is no, it isn't a manicured planting and I don't


think any of the arrangements of of flowers and plants and treesI ever


put together could be called manicured. It is always a bit loose,


a bit, it is natural. I really hope that when people see


this garden at Chelsea, they can look at it and understand it. You


know, it isn't a concept actual garden t it is a ten by ten meter


space so a lot of people have that sized garden and I just want it to


there, is one of my favourite gardens. I love it. Every time I


walk past, I get another peep. How do you feel the design transferred


on to this space? It is a really simple design. It was based on the


diagonal. We have the caravan at the far end and I wanted to break


up the view as you look towards it. So we have got this this rill and


and benches sitting on the rill and when it came together, it worked.


Miraculously. So how do you feel about the judges' response to the


garden? I was pleased with their response. It is my first time on


Main Avenue and being up here with the big boys was faunting and --


daunting and when we got silver, it was brilliant. It was more than I


could have wished for. One of the things that really


speaks to me is your planting. It is so beautiful. What's the


inspiration behind that? Well, I live in Kent and I'm


surrounded by hedgerows and verges full of cow parsley and I wanted to


bring bring those into the garden setting and mix them up with roses,


the more traditional garden plants and give that looser, relaxed feel.


What about Doris? Surely you aren't going to be able to part with her


after the show? I have fallen in love with her. I have really fallen


in love with her. I never thought I would get so emotional about a tin


box. She is gorgeous. She has a personality of her own. She has


given the garden a character. Everything has come from her and


she is great. Well, she makes the garden, but all


of it is beautiful. Congratulations. This year, there is plenty of


reason to stay home and enjoy a staycation. The jubilee and the


Olympics for starters, but when the sun comes out and you can't beat


the UK landscape and all its wild and floral beauty. A camping,


glamping, hotel, motels, tempting enough to stay at home? We asked


people where they preferred to special to me because I spent a lot


of my childhood there, it is Devon. Sussex at this time of year is


absolutely resplendent. If there was a place that I was particularly


fond of holidaying in, I am certainly not going to tell you.


Devon and Cornwall is the most wonderful place to go. I am a Devon


girl. Anywhere out of London, in August! I love Scotland, but I am


spiritually linked to Cumbria. Actually, stick to the UK, it is a


fabulous place. I would recommend, I have to say many places in Wales.


Northumbria was a real gem. I have to admit, in the winter, I drift


away to the Caribbean. I love this country so much. They always say,


if you could just guarantee the weather, you would never go abroad!


So, Devon and Cornwall would seem to be the place the celebrities go


to for their staycation. It is only because they have not discovered


the Isle of Wight. You can never tell why they come here, is it the


glamour or the gardening? Earlier, unlikely Gardener Goldie joined us


to share his this is are macro for palm trees. -- his passion for


countries. He wanted some inspiration for his own garden, so


we accompanied him as he soaked up the sides. She is the one who got


me into this in the first place. Look at that. What does it remind


you of? Captain's Log, start date... I have just found the most amazing


collection of flowers. We have just come across the lagoon, we do not


know what this creature is. Let's start with the world's tiniest palm


tree. Let's start with your gold medal, first! Here you go. When did


palm trees first come here? In the Victorian era. They were classical


plans, which were used to decorate places, and they were brought back


by the explorers of the day. That is very impressive. There is a few


more than I thought there would be. Watch out, incoming! It is really


lovely. This is probably, for me, what I would love to achieve in the


corner of my garden. It is very, very beautiful. I don't know how


they have done this, how they have put the Morse on the side of the


shed. I need to have a little shed now. It is very inspiring. The one


last thing will be to go down that slide. Dermot's slide. Tally ho!


Chelsea is scouring the Showground for inspiration. This year there


are plenty of ideas to take away, even if you only have a tiny garden


space. This display is exactly the sort of thing I mean. It is called


the Space Race, and the idea is to make use of every corner of your


garden, no matter how tiny, particularly in urban spaces. This


one is called square foot Gardening. We have got a raised bed, and the


idea is that each space contains different crops. You can put in her


letters, harvest what you need for that day, and then the plant goes


on growing. Other things, as they finish, take them up and put


something else in to replace it. It really is maximum productivity.


This is a wonderful idea. It is another raised bed, but it is


stepped, so you can have different types of soil in there. Around the


edge, we have got herbs, things which need really sharp drainage,


like the lavender and the thyme. In the middle section we have got


vegetables which not only taste good but they look good, too. We


have got broad beans, more thyme, and I love the idea of the bamboo,


and the irrigation coming down. It takes up almost no space. This


garden is absolutely full of ideas, it is genius. Well, you do not need


acres of space to grow fruit and vegetables, either. There are some


really good ideas here on this stand. Look at this beautiful


raised bed, absolutely full of salads and herbs. You can make it


any shape at all. Just look at the space you have got available, and


create something which fits. Taking the idea of growing plants in a


container, how about this? These are dwarf varieties of peach.


Perfectly suited to growing long term in a container. Finally, we


have got different ways of growing plants, to maximise the space. If


you cannot go out, you can quite often go Upper wall. These are


pairs. You can follow it through to the extreme, and go even higher.


You can plant underneath as well. Again, more herbs at the base. So,


if it is fruit you fancy, do not let a lack of space put you off. If


walking around the Showground makes you wish you had an enormous garden,


and you only have room for a single pot, just look at what you can do


with that pot. It is all about selecting really compact varieties.


Once you have chosen your plants, the Chelsea Showground is awash


with inspiration for what colours to choose. We went out to look at


some of the, they -- some of the colours dominating this year's show.


A new range of colours is creeping in a long Main Avenue. Chelsea has


a metallic. -- Chelsea has gone metallic. For the last decade or so,


the colour schemes have been a very tasteful blend of purples and


pastels. It is good to see that a new colour palette is coming


through. In this garden, they have used a sculpture, and the bronze


colour has been echoed in the planting. We often hear that the


devil is in the detail when it comes to aiming for a gold medal.


That detail applies to the planting, too. The colours are matched,


linking the borders together. You can see this colour everywhere. My


favourite are these ones. These orange flowers are absolutely loved


by bees. Again, helping to join the whole of the planting scheme


together. The copper and bronze colours give warmth to a garden.


Meanwhile, silver is the colour of light and energy. One man has


created a cathedral to this silvery shade with his show garden. He has


used plants which are covered in tiny hairs, which makes them silver.


They are to protect the plant in its Mediterranean home from bright


sunshine. The same goes for these lavenders. Again, the silver of the


leaves protects it and reflect the heat of the sun. It is not just in


the planting, the dominant feature of this garden is the water. There


is this shimmering pond in the middle, and then an arcade of water


coming down the side. If you want to see the brightest plant in this


garden, you have to go up on to the terrace. It is an alpine plant.


Give it your sunniest spot. I just love the colour scheme of this


garden, it is so out of the ordinary. It is summed up by these


irises. They have an apricot colour about them. As you come back into


the garden, the colour scheme becomes more apparent. On a sunny


day like this, it is wonderful, the light comes down through the


cherries at the back. It is like being in a golden, summer day. The


overall effect of this garden is one of gold. With the Olympics


around the corner, let's hope we Marathon, and I am carrying the


Olympic Torch! Tell me about it! has been designed by Maggie, and it


won the gold medal. We have got some delightful, spiky flowers in


the centre, and carnations on the bottom. Give him going to tell you


about my arrangement. It is not mine at all. It is designed by


Julian, from Covent Garden academy of Flowers. Wonderful. It is great,


we do try to cover flower arranging as well. Florists as well, that is


the professional way of saying it. I do not want anybody to think that


we do not pay any attention to it. Using specific objects to draw


people's attention to a part of the garden is one trick used by


gardeners. We took to the Showground to take a look at this


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 45 seconds


are # a rare and priceless work of art.


# I am right by your side. # I cannot tell you why.


# To be in love with a masterpiece. # After all, nothing is


indestructible. I do love a nice bit of sculpture.


It is your turn now. Yes, it is my turn. We have that in common with


the Olympics - gold, silver and bronze at Chelsea! That's all for


tonight. We will be back tomorrow at 12:30pm. And we will be back on


BBC Two as well. You can press the red button straight after the show


Alan Titchmarsh and Rachel de Thame discover how the themes of water, boundaries and the British countryside are dominating the exhibits at this year's Chelsea Flower Show. Chris Beardshaw is in the show gardens unearthing radical ideas for sustainable horticulture. Plus 2011's 'Best in Show' winner Cleve West explains why topiary is a hot topic. And designer Jo Thompson reveals why her journey to build her show garden began with a caravan.

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