Monty Don takes an illuminating tour of the Artisan gardens. Mary Berry gives a tour of her family garden. Kirsty Wark reveals how gardening is a perfect antidote to her day job.
Browse content similar to Episode 10. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
Hello and welcome to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show!
It's Thursday, the first day the show is open
to the general public, and it's fair to say the showground
is packed with garden enthusiasts as far as the eye can see.
They've come here to enjoy the ground-breaking design
on display, not to mention the very latest floral fads and fashions.
As well as being packed its jolly hot. It's boiling today, it is
caught sheer one. You're wearing your hat. I haven't got any hair
like you, Monty, health and safety, this is, as well as being rather
dapper. It's hot but so much better than the cold, wet Chelsea 's we've
had. The plants are slightly suffering. A lot of them are having
to water throughout the day as well as in the morning. I would much
rather summoned rain. It may be day four,
but we still have so much more to come from this year's event,
supported by M+G Investments. Tonight's show is all
about the small gardens, as we bring you in-depth analysis
of the ever-popular Artisan and Fresh gardens,
revealing who's won what. We treat you to an exclusive tour
of Mary Berry's much-loved garden at home before catching up
with her on the showground. Multi award-winning designer
Adam Frost shows us how shape, sculpture and structure can
bring our own gardens to life. I'll be catching up with journalist
Kirsty Wark as I uncover her unbridled passion
for all things floral. Plus, don't forget there's not long
left to vote for your favourite large show garden for the BBC RHS
People's Choice Award. More to come on that
later in the show. But first, we want to let
you in on something rather special. Over the week we've noticed
how the Artisan gardens on Ranelagh Avenue are touched
with a certain ethereal glow around dusk once the gates are closed
and the crowds have disappeared. I went along to give you a glimpse
of the magical spectacle The Fresh Gardens tend to shine
in the middle of the day, perfectly suited to the busy
atmosphere of the show in full flow. But as the light is falling at dusk,
I'm here able to roam around free. I've come here to Ranelagh Avenue
because this is where the Artisan gardens are. They are small, but
packed with ideas and inspiration and often just plain beauty. There
are essentially two types of gardens that you find here. One tends to be
very naturalistic and uses found objects and found landscapes. The
other is much more creative in the sense that it's made from new, it
looks like nothing you find the countryside. This is one of the
latter, it immediately summons up the sun and vitality and colour. Of
Spain. Walker's Wharf belongs to the first
category. It uses materials of an old wharf on the River Trent. You
can see it has quite literally got those materials but when you get
closer you realise it's actually an amalgam of them. The planting
doesn't fall into the trap of trying to do too much. The palate is very
simple and muted. And it's dominated by these pruned pines that exactly
get the texture, colour and feel of the industrial landscape in which
they are set. Despite being the designer Fiona
Cadwallader's first ever show garden, the poetry lovers' garden is
incredibly confident and strong. It does nothing particularly original,
the planting, the stonework, the way it set out, remind me of lots of
show gardens I've seen. But what it does it does so well, and the idea
is it's a place to and find inspiration, retreat. I've had to
read a poem or, perhaps, even right one. -- either to read a poem. As
the light falls around me, though the city still bustles beyond the
park, Chelsea slips into night, and I'm just going to have a few moments
to enjoy it to myself. That's about right, Monty
sleeping on the job again! It's his age, it's been a long week!
Those gardens are especially tranquil down there. So we'll let
him off. In fact, it's hard to believe any
of the small gardens are nestled in the busy heart of this city,
but I can assure you they haven't Earlier this week Nicki Chapman
witnessed the moment when the Small Garden medals
were handed out, and it was Oh my God! Thank you so much! I
don't believe this, this is amazing! Thank you very much. You are
shaking. I am shaking, I need a copy. Congratulations. Thank you
very much, I'm really happy with that. Congratulations. APPLAUSE
Triple double! Fantastic. Congratulations.
The small gardens may be compact compared to their big
brothers on Main Avenue, but they are by no
means less spectacular. Split into two categories,
The Artisan gardens, true to their name, take arts
and crafts as their inspiration, while the Fresh gardens tend to put
an abstract perspective on what a garden is or can be.
This year there are 14 small gardens in total,
They are good, aren't they? They are all good. I think they've had more
attention because there were fewer big gardens so there is more time
and more scope to have a really good look at them. And it's very
rewarding when you do. The Artisan especially this year is so strong.
They are tricky because it's about craftsmanship and detailing. Because
they are in a small space you've got to keep the interest within the
garden, keep the eye moving. But they are so much smaller. In fact
the Artisans are built aboveground, you can't dig into the ground. It's
almost like an installation piece and they've only got 11 days on site
to build them. The standard is amazingly high and I'm delighted
with the feel-good gardens. They were a fairly late edition but
everybody loves them, rightly so. They're fund, accessible and very
well done. Some great designers there. The fresh gardens I like this
year. I think they're more accessible than some years,
sometimes they get so conceptual and people think, what on earth is going
on? And they need an explanation. This year there are some people
could actually be create and take ideas from in their own gardens.
They're all good. Juliet Sargeant took a closer look at one of the
fresh gardens, which was awarded a silvergilt medal. She knows from her
own personal experience the effort needed to win any medal at Chelsea.
This is the breast cancer now garden. Through the microscope. It
is a garden with a really strong team. And as we walk through the
garden we can read the details the designer, Ruth Wilmot, has
incorporated in order to tell us this really important story.
This garden is all about the transformation from disease to
health. In the front of the garden, these rugged rocks represent
cancerous cells. Then further down the garden as you take a journey,
you come to smooth stones, which represents the healthy cells. In the
centre of the garden is a black rectangular pool, which represents
the microscope slide scientists use to study the cells. These circles
represent the microscopes scientists use everyday to research into the
cures and treatments for cancer. The idea of magnification follows
through into the planting itself. Here we have really fine cut leaves
and small flower heads but as you look down the garden to the
magnified end, the flowers are chunky and leaves are big. A good
example would be this little ranunculus here, mirrored by the
large, bold peonies at that end. The question on everybody's lips is, why
didn't it get gold? Of course, I don't know for certain, but I have a
theory. Ruth Wilmot loves to design conceptual gardens, most gardens are
either purely conceptual or very garden like. We can set herself a
challenge in designing something that falls between stools. In doing
so, she has just missed out on that elusive top prize. To me, this
garden is thoughtful, beautiful and atmospheric. I think the fact it is
incredibly popular with the visitors speaks for itself.
The road to designing and building a Chelsea garden is long
and at times incredibly stressful, fraught with complications
However, there's one first-time Chelsea designer who's been
For five years Ian Price suffered crippling depression.
Today he's got a show garden at Chelsea.
To find out more we went to join him on his home turf
This is Belfast on my home city. This is the heart and centre of our
country. I was born in the 70s man now 39 plus one. Yeah, just
recently. People used to say, you're from Belfast. All of those problems.
I didn't really see that. It was my home.
Any garden that you design is going to be influenced from where you came
from and the experiences you've had in life. In this instance it's the
glorious Greens. This is the Glens of Antrim. We've got the heathland
areas, scrub, vegetation, sheep grazed areas. Then it sweeps down
into the more lush are stronger Greens. That's what I'm trying to
use in this garden, green as a colour, using it instead of a
backdrop instead of the main focus and colour of the garden. This
garden isn't just influenced by the landscape that I live in, it's
mostly inspired by something that has plagued me all my life. North
Antrim coast is one of those special places. I need to come here to help
empty my head. Allow me to think about nothing. I have had depression
for the majority of my 20s upwards. Depression is one of those things
you just kind of wake up in the morning and go... I don't feel
great, I must be mentally ill. It sneaks up on you. It's like it swims
up behind you and you are in the surf and it comes and drags you by
the legs and pulls you under. At my lowest point, I just took the
pills, drove up into the forest, founder waterfall and sat there. And
just waited for them to take effect. At the lowest point I needed to make
sense of things. I was able to use garden design to tell my story about
depression. And turn my negative experience into a positive one. Some
of the best things are made in sheds, and this garden has been made
in a shared. It is always fascinating to see your design
jumping off the page and turning into 3-D reality.
This is Mind Trap, the manifestation of what I felt like at my worst, and
what I can feel like at my best, all rolled into one. The great shape is
where I imagine myself when I designed this, in the middle of
this, surrounded by these large, heavy walls. But with glimpses
through to hope beyond. There are very few flowers in the space. It is
mostly based on textures, mostly on green, with the delicate hint
towards flowers. They are not important, it is the feeling that
the plants give. People have asked me, can you do this? Can you handle
the pressure that Chelsea brings? Maybe I was just foolish enough not
to consider that at the time! I know I can, because I have so many good
people around me that want to make it happen. Whilst a medal will be
unreal, a lifetime ambition, the main thing is if one person comes up
to me and says, thank you for sharing your story. That is what it
is about for me. You said just one person would make
you happy, but all of the judges have thank you, by giving you a
gold-medal. It is surreal, unbelievable, I am still in a blur.
It will hit me just after everything has happened, but it is the reaction
of the public as well, unbelievable. I will confess, as somebody who
shares your problems with depression, I look at gardens with
great trepidation, because there is a problem of simplifying it. You
have not done that. I am impressed by that. Tell me again how that has
come through. It is not easy. It is not easy, but I found it a cathartic
struggle. 15 years of research to create this garden for Chelsea 2017,
and two days of sketching. Six months of pain and anguish and
trepidation. It is so worth it. The point about the green, limits of
hope. It strikes a chord with lots of people, rather than a riot of
colour. People forget that green is a colour. That is with the woodland
planting, in contrast to the grey blanket. A lot of people, you have
talked to the Duchess of Cambridge about it, that must have been
interesting. What you will be doing is saying to people who are also
suffering and feeling lonely and ashamed and lost that you can make
something from it. I had to do this to justify what I went through. I
needed to make my negative into a positive, and I now know why I went
through it, because the reaction from the public, I have had people
in tears, I have shared the tears with them, that is more than I could
ever have hoped for. The plants, some of them are dark, you have put
them in a difficult setting, but that can be integrated into a normal
garden. Whatever normal is! That is why I have used plants in context,
it is not what you see, it is how you see things are. You have enabled
a lot of people to see both gardens differently, themselves differently,
and to know they are not alone. Of the two gold-winning gardens
in the Fresh Garden category the RHS had to choose one standout design
as their Best Fresh Garden, and we were there to capture
the moment when the winner I have got something wonderful to
present you with. For the best Fresh Garden, congratulations. Thank you.
It is amazing. Sweet, lovely. Huge congratulations, when I first
saw it, I knew you would do well. It has been a mega build. It is huge,
even by my standards, it is borderline insanity. You have pretty
much build a house. Yes, three stories and 15 or 16 guys for 14
hours a day, it is down to them, really. The design is fantastic, the
combination of hard landscaping and plants, it is the future of
gardening, small spaces, but you can still cram plants in and make them
relevant and get closer to them, where ever you are. We have a huge
history in London of big parks and gardens, but we are now building
apartment blocks, so the smaller spaces that link them are really
important. Will this be community gardener? It could be, because the
spaces are not big and the plans are not challenging. A diverse range.
Shady downstairs, hot and sunny appeal. Trying to cater for the
environment, absolutely. I love the green of all, they are often the
flat, but do have real volume. It feels like it is growing out
horizontally. I have got my eye on that one. It is lovely, there is one
in a basement not far from here, it shows it can be done. Wonderful,
beautifully designed. Whether big or small, like this one,
there are so many inspiring ideas you can take out of a show garden
and apply to your own home. Seven-times gold-medal winner
Adam Frost is here to seek out the best when it comes to garden
design here at Chelsea. Tonight he's focusing on structure,
shape and sculpture. When I am creating a garden, I want
to take you on a journey, lead you through a space. Shtick in a garden
and focal points play a massive part to help me do that. When I am
creating a design, the first layout, understanding the space and how I
can put it together, the only plants are the trees. They start to fill
the space in the sky. After that, the next layer of structure is the
shrubs, so things like this not only work as a piece of sculpture, but
repeated through the space they create rhythm. You do not have to
spend that much money, you are looking to add three or four shrubs
that will give you the rhythm and structure and the interest
throughout the year. Once you have done that, you start to understand
the other areas, you can build the rest of your planting up in layers.
This is where sculpture and structure come together. If you look
along there, we looked like we have one wall, and a focal point. It
starts to draw me into the garden, takes me along a path. As I go
along, what is lovely is you get pulled up to the wall, you realise
there is another space and you get drawn into another part of the
garden, and then you come out into this beautiful space.
And after or pergola can add some interest and height and structure to
any garden, but what I love about this, it is simple timber, but with
copper detail, which is picked up in the sculpture that sits in planted.
You imagine this at the end of your garden, it would be a real
destination point. This is a cracking detail to the
edge of the terrace, it is so obvious to draw straight lines or
Kirsty Terris, but with this fractured line, it more or less
extends into the planting, and it lets the planting comeback in. This
structural frame, they are like see-through walls. They would in two
or three ways, they add height through the planting, which is
fantastic, but also they add rhythm, the repeated pattern all the way
through, it pulls you through this space. You might not want a big
frame sticking up, but you could use an obelisk, repeated through your
planting, it gives movement through. Creating a garden is a journey, it
is how you get drawn through. Structure and sculpture play a
massive part in taking you through a space.
Still to come at this event, supported by M+G Investments.
We discover who's won the highly-prized Best
I chat to journalist Kirsty Wark about the welcome solace her garden
But first, we invite you to sit back and relax as we bring
you an exclusive tour of Mary Berry's home garden.
I think of the garden as a sanctuary. We have been here 27
years, it seems an age. When we came here, we inherited a lovely garden,
but we have done all sorts of things to read. We did not have a plan, but
I hope we have made a lot of improvements.
The pond was here, it is a natural pond, but we enlarged it. We have
developed the meadow and put path through it. We have put in the Rose
walk. We have put in a tennis court, because we all are a bit sporty. In
that area was a magnolia and a holly tree, and they were fully grown, and
we transplanted them and let them soak in the water for a full night,
and they are here to tell the tale today.
I was brought up during the war, and times were tough, we were
self-sufficient, we had goats, chickens, so it was important to
have a vegetable garden, and I have learned to grow what you eat and
what you enjoy. Herbs are very important in my cooking, so we have
a herb garden. All the folks here are edible. We have day, lemon balm,
for puddings and things, we have thyme, Rosemary, and, of course,
Sage. Write down here, I have Good King Henry. You want to have it when
it is very young. It has a slightly bitter taste, you can cook it like
spinach. This is real French tarragon, it has a broad leaf, full
of flavour. Never to be mixed up with Russian tarragon, which is
rubbish, it grows like a weed and tastes like grass, so into the
ground it goes. There should be a good route under there. What I do is
to put water in the bottom. It seems to work for my planting, so I make a
nice puddle of water like that, because it is fairly dry. When I
come to cooking, I do not take a full sprig, I take it from the
middle, and then it will shoot out at the sides, so I will put it in
the ground and planted level with the ground.
I love going round other people's Gardens, I am very inquisitive,
there is so much to learn. I went around Sutton Place, beautiful
hedges, and came back very inspired and thought, how does that fit in
with my garden? I looked at the old tennis court and said to my husband,
I would like to do a bit of hedging, and he said, have a go, and by the
evening I had drawn it all out and he said, that sounds good, go on, do
it. Is this hedge was growing, I decided I wanted to have a go at
making that, so to get hold of a hanging basket, as it was growing
up, I put it on top like that, and this is about ten years old now, but
I put it on top and let it grow through the hedge, I cut it round,
and as it grew up, I kept it into an oval, and I began to slip
underneath, and we ended up with a lovely ball like that, so I did not
need any expensive equipment. This is my notebook and I've had it
many years. I just... Things that I want to look for. When I come to
Chelsea. This year I'm looking for smock primulas, I love primulas.
I've not had success with roses growing over how archers so I'll be
looking for some repeat flowering roses with a nice scent. So there's
no one more excited than me, I'm off to Chelsea with my notebook, money
in my back pocket. I'll be there. Mary, I'm lucky to have seen your
garden first-hand, what a gorgeous garden it is. I see you've got your
notebook. This is a recce trip? This is a recce trip, I'm looking for a
climbing rose. Everybody loves arose, what is your personal take?
Roses are such good value because they flower over a long period of
time and, of course, the scent. The variety is incredible. Climbers,
shrub roses, ground covering, there was always a place to squeeze in
another. There is, you don't need a huge garden, they grow very well in
pots, in a larger pot than you would normally see. These roses are grown
in Hertfordshire, non-imported. Shall we checksum out?
This is one of your favourites, isn't it, DeChambeau's beauty. I
love it, look at the foliage, shiny bright green. -- chandos beauty.
Smell that is that not divine? It's beauty! If you're growing a pot, you
can put it in really good side and manage it as long as it is in a
fairly sunny position and well watered, it's the perfect rose to
have. Is the climbing rose what you are
specifically looking for? It is, because we've got an arch, the rose
is dead. I made mistakes in the past by having one that goes too high. I
now know my art is eight feet and I have to find a rose that fits and
will grow to that. Exactly the right approach because these growers grow
them at certain heights, something like a Rambler will want to flower
at the top, 40 feet up, you can't necessarily see the flowers. We've
got Graham Thomas going up the front of the house and in March I take it
right down on the ground. And prune it at the bottom, so you get flowers
at the bottom, not up in the sky. Controlling where they are. At any
of these caught your eye? I rather like this one, this Cumberland, it's
got lots of lovely green foliage. It's a multiheaded, which I like.
All of these bugs coming year, even behind you've got another set of
buds, it's going to flower for ages. Also, when it's getting past its
best it isn't all faded, it holds its colour. Is this the one, Mary?
That's it, Cumberland. Mary is not the only one filling up
her notebook, everyone you look at Chelsea there are people writing
down the names of plants, taking photographs of plants.
And for the Artisan gardens it's not just the plants that inspire,
These are particularly important as the gardens tend to draw
from history or heritage, as Nick Bailey is finding out over
What I absolutely love about this garden is it the brilliant fusion
between ancient and modern. It really embraces the idea that
apothecaries of the past were looking for that great Alexia, being
able to extract the power of plants. It is represented by this apothecary
bench at the back. The garden takes you all the way through to modernity
and the fact scientists and chemists are still looking for those magical
powers and Alexia is we can draw out of plants. The planting in the
garden is absolutely beautiful, quite a modern matrix. A real sort
of fusion of different plants. There is a colour theme that pulls it all
together but it's packed with useful medicinal plants. What I know right
at the front here is used in traditional Chinese medicine, has
been for over 1000 years. Smoke is produced from it. It's often used
for chest conditions and the like. Growing just in front of it is
something you might think of as a lawn weed, a British native that
grows all over the UK, particularly in damp soil. It has medicinal
applications. Eucalypt that comes from it is used to remove dirt from
the eye in hospital. It can be used as a bulking agent, as laxative, so
really useful plants. Traditional use and much more modern use. Over
at the back digitalis, which has a long history of medicinal use.
Healers were giving it to people with heart ailments. And today, the
extract from it is still given to people. The planting has this fuzzy
matrix, meadow quality to it which brings the whole garden together. I
think it is very much deserved of the gold it's got. This really is
picture perfect. No stranger to creating an Artisan
picture-perfect postcard She currently holds gold
medals in more categories This year she's taken
on the challenge of creating two gardens, one inside
the Great Pavilion for Hilliers nursery, and an Artisan garden
here on Ranelagh Avenue. This isn't the first time you've
done two. It's the third consecutive year. This is the year I wanted to
get the treble double, so I had two gold medals in each of the previous
two years. I achieved it, so a massive year for me. You've covered
some serious mileage, between the two, any idea what you've done this
year? I checked last night, done six and a quarter consecutive marathons.
That's why you're looking so trim and fit. I have a track on my wrist,
it sets off each day and tells me how many paces and how many
marathons I've walked. You are the fittest person on-site. We've
created this wonderful garden. You're such a versatile designer,
just run us through the garden and how you had to apply your design
skills. My sponsor asked me to choose a Mediterranean city of my
choice, it had to be Barcelona. I love Barcelona, it's such a leader
in the creative world. And has been historically. Antonio Goudie, the
architect in Barcelona, is a hero of mine. -- Gaudi. This mosaic behind
me is fantastic. You've done this sort of thing before. Do you get
technicians in? I like Artisan Gardens to work with different
Artisans and craftsmen. Last year I had two, this year I have two, want
the mosaic, once the chair. I love working with craftspeople, because
you get the best out of them. I don't fully understand the material.
I know what I want to achieve. I know they'll take that perfection.
You've got some wonderful specimens. Some of them are hardy, some of them
we see in London, and down in warmer climates. There are also arid
plants. This one is cold hardy as long as you keep it dry. And we have
ones that are more robust and survive through the UK. It's all
about drainage, they get wet through the winter, they are going to
struggle. If you wrap them up through the winter, give them good
drainage, they might get through. Absolutely. Lovely to see you. Maybe
go for a little job later. You can join me.
Sarah has used a variety of tender plants which would love to live
in Parc de Guell in Barcelona, but of course this isn't Barcelona.
In good ol' Blighty a plant has to be pretty resilient
And a group who are keen to discover what is and isn't tough
enough for the UK climate is the aptly-named
I love hardy plants because there are so many different colours,
varieties, heights. Anything you can imagine, you will find, really,
within the spectrum of hardy plants. A hardy plant is defined as one that
will survive to -15 degrees. In the winter you cut them back and in
spring they come up and they're so fresh, they look like you've just
planted them. My name's John McGee, I'm leading
the team for Chelsea 2017 on behalf of Worcestershire hardy plant
society. Daesh my name is Linda Marsh, now a garden designer, but I
used to be an airline pilot, one of the first women in aviation flying
for an airline. Perhaps being in the air, away from the Earth, you have
that real connection when you come back and land. I know many pilots
who actually have smallholdings, so there is definitely some connection.
The society was formed in 1957 by four eminent Gardens to educate and
inform an increase knowledge of her basis -- herbaceous perennials. We
have over 7000 members today. There is a great community spirit in
the group. We meet up once a month. Second Saturday every month. This
gardening is quite addictive, though I've belong to the Worcestershire
grip, I belong to three other gardening societies. There is no
cure for the addiction unfortunately. Daesh we have a guest
speaker followed by Britt freshman 's and a chat so we can catch up
with what's doing well. Lots of outings through the plant society,
autumn weekends, some days. Excellent. Meeting different people
and talking plants is brilliant. We have a wide range of people in the
group. We have held, probably in her early 80s, with the vast plant
knowledge. Then we have just, who is 25 years of age. It's great to see
that they work off each other. What's your favourite, Hilda? I love
salvias. I love the smell. It really lifts you, the smell. Exhibit this
year is important to us as a society, it's our 60th year. We have
a wonderful group of people getting together to help do the stand for
Chelsea. Some members are growing plants, there are members who have
been coming up to tend the plants every week. We decided to have 60
different types of plants to represent each year of the existence
of the hardy plant society. The design for Chelsea was really to try
and show people that we are a modern society moving forward. So we
decided to use QR codes on all the plant labels so people could take
their smartphone and a zap onto it and go immediately to the website
and find out all they wanted to know about the plant. We also designed a
rotating stand, so that not only do you see the relationship between the
front plants and back plants, but you see how they relate to the other
plants. John, of course will take all responsibility for the stand and
its rotation. It's the first time within the pavilion they've used a
rotating plants display, three metres in diameter. We've had to be
aware that the motor will not overheat, because if that happens,
the table will not turn. And we will not have a display.
Look at that, amazing. Sale it's a hidden surprise when you look
underneath the leaf, because it's a wood lander. That's super, really
lovely job. Over the years the hardy plant society has won Medi medals.
However this year if we win anything beyond Silver we'll be delighted.
For us to be there is an experience of a lifetime. Chelsea's such a
special show, I'm thrilled to be part of the team. I just hope we do
very well. And hoping people will be really interested in joining the
hardy plant society and enjoy seeing our stand. I mean it's all very
exciting, isn't it? It works! We are pleased, we got a
Silver medallists, we did not expect anything above a silver. The stand
is stunning. You have some engineering in here. It is very
simple, a gearbox and a wheel with 12 casters. Has it brought more
exhibitors in? Are they drawn in by the movement? I think so. As the
wheel goes round, it shakes slightly, so the grasses show up. It
adds drama to the whole thing. It is great to see the society has got a
big spread of age. Some societies are struggling. Yes, it is a shame,
as it is the specialist societies, and we are herbaceous perennials,
and we have nine specialist societies. Others could come in with
us. We are not going cost is, but what about,? They are real doers.
They are. We have the spotty dotty and the iris in a couple of weeks.
The grasses will be here. And you see this a lot in the show gardens.
It is a good filler. The bees love it. When we were putting together
the stand, the bees were coming in, then they flew off when we turned
the table. There are none at the moment. They can take extremities,
down 2-15, but with the heat, they can cope as well, so maybe we will
use more of them. And there is a broad range for all conditions. We
will have to leave it there, but you got your hostas in!
I'm joined now by award-winning journalist/broadcaster Kirsty Wark.
I know this is your first Chelsea. Yes, but it will not be my last. It
is extraordinary in its scope. I love that there are so many people
who are clearly such passionate gardeners, they spend time coming
here, picking up tips, writing things down, I have been writing
things down. It is a very British thing. Do you have a garden of your
own? My garden is a small walled garden in Glasgow. It is at the back
of the house. The front is pleasure gardens. The back garden has these
wonderful old hoops, because the washing was hung out, it was not a
garden to be satin by the owners. But the legacy has been a beautiful
laurel tree, which we have built on. We have to drain it, because it was
damp, and we put down Caithness flags and margins stones from beside
the Clyde, which is where the wharf 's work that people left to emigrate
from Glasgow. Those footsteps are still treading in the garden.
Members of my family emigrated to what was then Rhodesia and also to
Australia. It is wonderful to have some in the garden, you know people
stepped on them going to new lives. Gardens are like onion skins, you
are just one more layer. People talk about the house when you sell it,
but you want to pass on, these flowers will come out in June... It
is nice to have a surprise, but I want people to know what is in your
garden. Did you have anything to do with gardening when you were growing
up? I was in gardens or the time, if the weather was good, fertile
territory. My family were early fruit growers in the 1800 and
before, and in 1850 my great-grandfather was -- went to a
fruit broker in Glasgow, and he said, but everything under glass. So
he put acres under glass. I grew up in tomato houses, and I remember my
great uncle 's had his coat on and they would take a poke, a paper
poke, and in it would be salt-and-pepper, and they would open
the tomato and put salt-and-pepper on it and you would eat the tomato
is a fresh. We would have tomato so much all the time. We used to have
tomato some watches. White bread, tomatoes, and the juice soaked in.
My hands are like my grandfather's. Jamjar Hans! What are you looking
for? You have resisted Chelsea for all of these years, what are you
looking for? I have a lot of white in the garden, and I have a lovely
Philadelphus, which has taken off, but I am looking for more colour. I
loved dog rose. I want to introduce more colour. This one is beautiful.
I am going to try and find one of those. There are tens of thousands
of the best plants that have ever been grown here. I will go on a
hunt. This is another dog rose? This is rambling Rector. It is beautiful.
You have a connection to this garden. I have been involved with
Maggie's for over 20 years. It is so much part of the whole firmament of
how we live and thrive with cancer. It is wonderful to be in this
garden, it has so many of the hallmarks, tranquillity, privacy,
water, and I think of gardens as healing places anyway. You are
involved in elections and all of the affairs of Government and life and
state, you have talked about the chant quality of your garden, do you
think gardens are important as places to retreat to? Particularly
in times of crisis, I know in times of bereavement I have always gone to
the garden. For people who cannot have a garden, the importance of
wide-open spaces in towns and cities that are nurtured and cared for. I
hate to think of cuts to gardening, because they bring apprentices on,
people find employment, people volunteer in gardens, I walk past a
lot and and think, this is fantastic, people can come to their
allotment and see them thrive. We will ask you to look around, enjoy
your first Chelsea and choose a cute things that are really special. What
a treat. Now out, of the six gold
medal-winning Artisan garden designs here at the Chelsea Flower Show,
only one could be chosen as the best We were there to capture the moment
the RHS handed out the award. I am delighted to announce that you
have received the best Artisan Garden in the show today, so many
congratulations, the first recipient of that beautiful box. Many
congratulations, everyone. Our best Artisan Garden. Beautiful.
Congratulations. It is the big one again. Smashed it again! Two years
ago you got gold and Best In Show, but before that you got a Q Silvers,
so you have nailed it now, you know what it takes. I got there in the
end, really pleased with it. You are not here every year. I am a biannual
designer. It is a fabulous garden, everybody is talking about it, the
industrial landscape. Have you sourced all of the bits and pieces?
I was fortunate enough to get the crane, because my grandfather had
bought it for two or 50 years ago, and when I went to look at it it was
immersed in nature, branches had grown through it, it planted the
seed of the garden, it germinated over 18 months, we used the crane
throughout. This was onside in the nursery? And old swamp area, we
would go there as kids. I salvaged it in the winter months, chopping
bits out. It was a bit of a mission. Is it the whole thing, the concept
of the industrial landscape? It is not where nature has taken over,
somebody has God and this. The brief was that people were living in
warehouse accommodation and they had commissioned a designer to build a
garden for relaxation, so it does not have weeds, it is quite plush.
You are celebrating the heritage. A lot of these warehouse blogs that
are being converted often get rid of the landscape outside. 100%. It
would be great to incorporate this. Yes, try to create an atmosphere,
curiosity, the industrial heritage. It fits in with the Artisan
category. You are celebrating conifers, not many people here are.
You put them together so beautifully. Our heritage and the
nursery is is growing pines and conifers, but I pick the textual
bonds to relate to the material colour. Some are windswept, so they
give the garden a bit more which in depth and height. You borrowed the
landscape beyond, you have not put a boundary, it look like it goes on.
The location was perfect for the garden, because there are no
boundaries, it is like a section of a larger garden. Lovely, great to
see you, and congratulations again. Before we come to the end of today's
show we just want to remind you that time is running out to vote
for your favourite large show garden in this year's BBC RHS
People's Choice Award. Details of all the gardens and how
to cast your vote are on our Voting closes tonight at 9:30pm
and the winner will be revealed tomorrow evening
on BBC One at 7:30pm. Ruth asks, usually there is a plan
that keeps popping up at the Chelsea Flower Show, what is this year's?
How about shaggy box? Four years you see box plants clipped and trained
and repeated, but this year, two or three gardens have got quite a lot
of shaggy uncut box, it is new, and good.
It looks great. We are on trend! How many lipids have you seen?
Lot. They look great, they have gone so
out of fashion, but they are back again.
Is that because there is a nursery growing lots of them and everybody
has gone there, or is it just coincidence?
That can sometimes be the reason, but this year the sources are
different, the designers are asking for them from different sources, so
there is something in the zeitgeist. And we are there! We have had a lot
of tweets asking what the tall white planned is behind us.
A fabulous plant, I grow it. Just touches with pink. It can grow up to
six feet tall, really dramatic, and it has strong square stems. It is a
perennial. A really good planned. I like this hashtag!
Well, that's it from Chelsea tonight, but we'll be back tomorrow
on BBC Two looking at what we can draw from this year's show
And we have a very special treat in store as Ellie Harrison
is going to share her thoughts on wildlife gardening.
Plus, we look at some of the fabulous fauna joining
Nicki and James are back at 3:45pm on BBC One,
so until, then it's goodbye from all the team at Chelsea.
Monty Don and Joe Swift are back with more news from 2017's RHS Chelsea Flower Show, aided by Adam Frost, Nick Bailey, Rachel de Thame and Carol Klein. Monty takes an illuminating tour of the Artisan gardens at dusk.
Mary Berry gives a personal tour of her family garden before searching the show grounds for inspiration to take back home.
Newsnight anchor Kirsty Wark reveals how gardening is a perfect antidote to her day job.