Episode 9 RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Episode 9

Nicki Chapman and James Wong celebrate the small show gardens, while Carol Klein, Rachel de Thame and Simon Lycett offer practical gardening and floristry advice.

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My legs have gone wobbly. All the gardens are judged on their merit so


in theory everybody has the chance to leave with gold. This year the


word two golds, two silvers and one bronze awarded. In the art design


category there were six golds, one silver gold and two silvers. How do


you think overall the small gardens that? It has been incredible, the


sheer amount. The judges have not lowered their standards. The


standard of the gardens has been really good. The thing about small


gardens, a lot of people do not realise they can be more difficult


to design. If you are awarded and awarded is exactly the same


standards as the big show gardens. I love them. I relate to this space.


My garden is smaller than this. When the public are walking around they


love the small gardens. One of the things I find really useful is it is


about not putting too many things. How do you get a valance of packing


a lot into a small place but not being messy? It is a corridor for


wildlife of the same time. There is so much there. Playing with the


vertical plane. This cannot forget the Artisans. Beautifully done.


Although the plot is the same size they are being allowed to breathe. I


just sat after the public had left and waited and admired how


spectacular it is. They might be smaller but they are perfectly


formed. One small garden that has been turning heads is the Artisans


gardens. I caught up with the man behind this historic design. There


must be certain challenges when it comes to designing a garden with


such a heartfelt message, such a sensitive subject. Yes. The


commission of the marvellous commission who'd turned over 1.7


million graves and memorials of foreign soldiers in the Second World


War and over 154 countries, each huge honour to visit some of the


sites I visit the craftsmen and pull something together that embodies the


character of the commission and hard work they do. You went visiting to


get your research to create this garden. Yes, I travelled about a lot


to the battlefields. I have some of the bricks that have been built into


the garden. I went to a cemetery with over 12,000 graves. It was so


overwhelming the enormity of everything and so deeply moving. I


also followed the footsteps of my grandfather who fought in the First


World War, shot through the soldier, he was the signalman so as soon as


the arm went up they were easy targets. There is a real personal


connection as well. Yes, as with many people in Britain. I have taken


some of the elements into the paving we have. Recycle Portland stone. The


railings around the outside were created by the blacksmiths. Every


leaf around here as a little number on the back. This is 22 of 154. 154


countries. They are so subtle, the planting around them is so beautiful


they do not dominate but the more you study the more you see. Yes. I


wanted a significant entrance into the garden to celebrate the


centenary but I needed the large trees, the giant Japanese maples, to


give that shape. With foxgloves and a mixture of other wistful plantings


combined with others it is that soft fluid movement of colours that said


a tranquil place that is very deserving for this style of garden.


Unsung heroes. There are a lot of them. This one is one of my


favourites. We have that lovely otters series of flowers, very


underestimated plant. Just part of the beauty of the garden. It feels


incredibly peaceful and it has such a significant message. You were


awarded a silver medal. But that, as a surprise? Not at all. This is my


30th sure garden. You either follow the message from the garden or you


choose the middle and with the Commonwealth war grave I wanted to


load of much of the commission and as possible. This huge wreath at the


front is perfect for the commission, perhaps not so much for the judges,


but so much hard work goes on to the commission taking care of the


gravestones. We are delighted with the meadowland their message. David


is one of the many designers this year attempting to pull off an


incredibly ambitious design. The challenge included bringing a 26


foot quarry to Chelsea this year. He is clearly not frightened of taking


on crazy ideas but we wanted to find out what makes him tick.


My name is James. I would say I was erratic, instinctive and natural. I


did not choose to work in garden design. Garden design almost chose


me. Once I got involved in it I took to it like a duck to water. I am not


a born gardener but I am a born appreciator of gardens and


landscapes. My top tip for garden designers to look and study nature


because by studying nature you really understand how plants


involved and how they work together and how the hard and soft in the


natural world work. Did you always know you were going to be designer


from childhood? No. I started by climbing trees, enjoying landscape.


I was really into painting, loved painting landscape, and I fell on my


feet later in life by calling somebody and I got on a Greenwich


garden design course. I figured I better do something with my life. I


just excelled at it. Did really well. The first time I ever excelled


in my life. It was meant to be. We know you travel extensively for


researcher and inspiration. Is there someone you have been to recently or


you are looking forward to going to thinking that could make a great


concept? We were in Sicily and at Mount Etna there is an extraordinary


range of species that only grow there. It is the next kind of


eggshell going on. Do you know in your heart is there that excitement?


When you saw it, that idea, did you think, this is it? Or do you have


four or five different projects on the go? As soon as it gets me it


fills my head and I have to get out. How many times will you go back to


that area to focus on the design? We do not know where we will be back


but it is something I will spend at least two months walking and talking


and meeting the craftsmen and studying the plants and talking to


the botanists and you have to grow for at least two years to make a


good garden. It is long-term in the planning. Yes, to make something


special. I would love to get inside your head and see what we are going


to see in four years. It is formulating. You are having a


fantastic Chelsea this year. All week we have been celebrating the


international stage that is Chelsea, taking it up close and personal to


plants we have grown to love and we think of as our own. Today we are


focusing on European bedding fellows. This takes its name from


the Greek for God and flour. Divine flour, that is exactly what it is.


Most of the descendants of the pinks we grow in our gardens today from


Europe. There is a theory that some of them came to this country with


the Normans. Who used to bring over their own stone to build their


castles. They need excellent drainage and love to be baked in


full sun. That makes them superb subjects for rock gardens, troughs,


even the age of our release only well-drained border. Many of us have


fun childhood memories of these. Almost certainly the first thing


that comes to mind is those delicious fragrance. It is time for


are viable. Sweet peas are amongst our most popular garden plants.


Everybody loves them. They have not always been here. It was in about


1697 when a Sicilian monk sense leads to a friend in England. He


grew them on. They were very similar in flower to this variety and lots


grow nowadays. One of the reasons they are so popular is they are so


easy to grow and give you such good results.


You can sew your seed in autumn and overwinter them or first thing in


the screen Lily spring, outside or in pots. It's a rapid climb. Within


months, they will be climbing up those poles, loaded with bugs, and


you will have flowers from Midsummer right the way through. -- loaded


with buds. Herbs are vitally important to lots


of us but, -- both in our kitchens and our gardens. Most of us grow a


few herbs somewhere and I suppose we assume they come from this country.


In fact, the majority of our herbs are brought into Britain thousands


of years ago. Take parsley, the most commonly grown herb of all. It was


brought over by the Romans. It is from the south of France and all


around the Mediterranean sea. And French tarragon. It has a lovely,


pungent aroma. There has been so much discussion about Europe in


recent times, but one thing is for certain. The plants that that


continent has given us are going to be in our gardens and stay in our


hearts forever. One hugely familiar plant, both here at home and all


over Europe, is the foxglove. I had the pleasure of meeting up with


Terry baker at his botanic nursery in Wiltshire to study the genius at


close hand. I don't think I've ever been to a nursery like this. You


feel as though you are in the middle of the countryside. We are. This is


near the Cotswolds and the wildlife has moved in. We have a population


of hedgehogs, rabbits and all sorts of things. We live and let live. I


always had you down as a shrub man. That is why the fox clubs came into


it what grows better with shrubs is foxgloves. All around your nursery,


this mound here. Which one is it? This is vestigiana with a gorgeous


honey scent. This is one of how many foxgloves you grow? We have about 35


different named salts. Is there any call for the straightforward ones?


It's essential. It has all of the refined elegance of the wild plant.


What a great idea, putting them all in a line so you can really see. We


had a thing called foxglove week, and all of the people who study them


in the country, and compared them. They come to compare one with


another. They are all different forms, all different subtly from one


another. That one is quite different. That is called candy


mountain, and the Florette or point upwards. -- the florets all point


upwards. Essentially, age of woodland or hedgerow plants, aren't


they? , Yes, they like that layer of humour is tend to get. We can


replicate that with getting some moss to create a nice moist level.


In white foxgloves, there is no trace of the purple on the stems


believes. To create a mini Sissinghurst in your garden... The


white garden? Yes, the best way is to look through your seedlings and


see how they are colouring up. I have a couple, you see this one? No


marking of purple on it. That's going to go in with the white group.


That is just a purple. It's plain to see, and I'll tell you what, I've


always felt that white foxgloves have softer leaves, too.


I could see viz a mile off, this beautiful white foxglove weaving


across the pavilion. Yes, looking particularly good this year. This is


this kind of foxglove. The normal sort of foxglove whiskey in the


countryside. I bet you get asked frequently about biannual foxgloves


and how you cope with that. A biennial plant, particularly in the


world of foxgloves, produces all of its energy to create a sort of


rosette in the first year and in the second year that energy is


translated into flowering and seeding, so masses of seeds, masses


of flowers, and all the baby plants will colonise your garden. When the


seeds sector, your plant dies, so you need to sew them the consecutive


year. If you're starting a new garden and he would foxgloves in a


border, the best thing is to have a few small plants, to grow some


others from seed, and once you have a colony built up, they will start


to flower every year. You forgotten without foxgloves. -- you can't have


a garden without foxgloves. Yes, the Chelsea Flower Show revolves around


them and irises. You have a brand-new foxglove. Come and see.


There it is. Lemon cello. A roll of drums! It really is yellow, isn't


it? Yes, and outside in natural light it even more yellow. How many


are there? Only three flowering plants in the whole country. I think


it has a great future. You will see a lot of it in the next few years at


Chelsea. How have you done this year was to mark we got a silver guilt. A


bit disappointed. Apparently the Pini leaves were a bit dusty. I


think the standard looks superb, and I'm sure every expert in the country


would agree. They have been in raptures. I love a foxglove but, for


me personally, what makes them great is the way they can lift a shady


area, giving you a dash of colour when you need it the most. And you


guys apparently do as well, because I have some questions. My favourite


is from Edward Lloyd Davis, who sent in a spectacular picture of a really


unusual shaped foxglove. Instead of being shaped like a glove, it is


upturned like a saucer. He asked me what creates the shape and whether


the seed can be passed on. It comes from you take themselves caused by


cold damage, maybe bacterial infection, and they can't be passed


on foxgloves or there would be a named variety. All week, Rachel de


Thame is focused on plant recipes that work for particular garden


conditions. Today, she is focusing on plants like the foxglove which


work particularly well in the shade. Most of us have areas of trade in


our gardens, but far from being a problem, I think it's an opportunity


to grow some of the most beautiful plants. They may not always be the


chilliest, and foliage plays a large part. In this little corner, we have


got some beauties. This one at the back, it's a creeping evergreen


perennial, so you have got these lovely leaves, very niche,


well-behaved look above ground, and they create little patches that will


mingle among the other plants. It's quite useful to have plants which


you might consider rampant in a shady area, because it will subdue


their growing habit and make them behave a bit more. These are


well-known plants for shady conditions, but some will actually


take quite a bit of sun as well. I think this is particularly useful


because it has a pale colour along the centre of the leaf, and that's


reflective so it will make the most of low light levels and give a bit


of shimmer. These give you both foliage interest and very pretty


flowers. This one is in a lovely rich green, but they come in a


spectrum of trades, -- of shades, through to dark purple. I love the


flowers, airy, and they have a bit of sparkle to them. And I also


particularly love one of our British favourites, lily of the valley, just


down at the front, you get the fragrance, beautiful nodding flowers


and strap like leaves, they are even more useful because they will take


quite a lot of dry shade, so you can put them further under an evergreen


tree, where not much light and moisture can penetrate.


If by any chance you don't have any shade in your garden, you might want


to plant a couple of trees so you can enjoy plants like this, because


it isn't always the ones which shout the loudest. Sometimes it is the


ones that whisper that you want to pay attention to.


I'm joined now by singer, songwriter and radio DJ Cerys Matthews. Welcome


to Chelsea, but you were here earlier in the week. I like to come


if I can. I think it's so inspiring. It's the place to come if you like


gardening. Weight you think that burst of inspiration came from? As a


child my garden was jam-packed full of garden plants and I used to like


cutting and throwing them at all the rest of it. I've always been


fascinated by the natural world and how small seeds can produce huge oak


trees. I am never not amazed by what nature can do and my friends perhaps


were thinking, because it was the 80s, roller-skates, all of that,


oops and plastic and all of that, and bands, Duran Duran, ABC and the


rest of it. I was more like, you can have the labels. I want to go out


foraging. I had a book called Wild Food by Roger Phillips, an expert,


and to me we have the value of the natural world around us, and it is


far more precious than anything you can buy. Has that carried on? Are


you trying to inspire your family to appreciate what we have around us?


I'd like to, just roly-poly and down the hill, things which we make


memories from. My youngest is now seven and we live in London and we


don't have a garden, so I downsized from a bigger house to a much


smaller house so we didn't have to move out of the area to get a


garden, so that I could plant potatoes with them. He loves it. He


is one of those old school children that comes home with sticks and


stones in his pocket. It's important to me. -- old school children. There


is nobody out there advertising saying that the value of nature is


this. They have got a profit to make from their products. So as parents


we have to remind children... Especially now. Because we have


drifted to the suburbs for work. So you have downsized to have a garden


and that time with your family in it. I also started the Good Life


experience, to help families reconnect the landscape and use


their hands, to get dirty, to make a bow and arrows, to light fires, to


climb trees, all the that I feel are more valuable than we imagine in


this crazy, chaotic modern world. The life that you had in Wales, you


want them to have even though they are living in the city. What we


liked as children, your parents or whoever brings you up once you to


have an outside experience, the fresh air, the connection with


nature, and it's harder than ever now to do that with all of our


gadgets, and we've all moved to the city, so you have to make a point of


doing it. It's beautiful. Let's talk about Chelsea. You have an


opportunity to find out anything you are struggling with with your


garden. What are you looking for today? I am going straight to the


potato store because I love all of these varieties. I like edible and I


love Anneka Rice on Radio 2. At home in my tiny cottage garden in London,


I think I am killing my roses. You are in the right place.


Professionals will be helping you. I'm going to send you proud to have


a wander and hopefully get some good answers. Thank you very much. As we


continue to celebrate the beautifully bijou small gardens at


Chelsea this year, award-winning designer Toby Buckland is taking a


look at the much talked about poetry garden.


Of all the artisan designs, the poetry lovers garden by Fiona


Cadwallader is the one that caught my eye. It has an ethereal quality


and it seems to glow from within. That's because she has been very


clever with the space and broken away from the usual trick of having


a feature or a shed in one corner, path leading up to it and borders


either side. She has kept the centre of her garden open, which makes it


light and airy, and it has the effect of pushing the borders back


to the edges, which makes the garden seem bigger. Table top lines


creating dappled shade and the feel of the garden is lovely,


particularly because of the water feature bouncing back into it. That


brings me to this chair. It is a thing of beauty, and Fiona decided


herself. It's the kind of thing you'd love, but you'd end up living


with it, if you know what I mean. This sort of thing is always in the


way. I think that's what the judges thought about the garden, maybe a


bit too full, and that's why it got a silver medal and not gold that


Fiona coveted. But the planting is joyous. In the cottage style, which


is something that I love. The borders are chock full of plants,


and I think the shakers summed it up when they said beauty through


utility. Everything is gorgeous to look at but it also has a use,


whether it is the glass which you see when you look out of the window


is moving around, to the plants which the bees work, or parsley and


broad beans for the kitchen. The other thing I like that Fiona has


done is she has elevated the garden so it's like the stage of a theatre.


It might not be the judges' favourite but, gosh, don't the


crowds love it. Do you like it? Yes! Says it all!


Chelsea Flower Show is also about flourish. And about arranging


flowers beautifully. I am delighted to be joined by a florist to the


stars. We can bring you the best florist tree highlights from the


showground. We are standing by this impressive display, celebrating


what? 100 years of the British florist association who give out the


kite mark of approval to florists and this has been created by a


college in Warwickshire. But Hind is the backdrop of imagery of forestry


from the past 100 years and they have used an incredible assortment


of fabulous flowers. The idea is that your eyes cast through to hear


which is the competition run in association with the RHS of Chelsea


florist of the year. This is all about celebration but here we have


cutting-edge forestry. This is the future. This is an incredible


display. Look at the top of that one, a dragon. It has humour. What


was the theme? Summer skies. They had to create a kite out of flowers.


At their very strict rules and regulations when you go into a


competition? Very many, two thirds of it must be made of living natural


plant material. You have to be strict with what you are using. This


won RHS Chelsea florist of the year. It is stunning. How much work would


go into that? These are like fine Julie, it has taken over 600 hours


to create so you're never going to be able to make it commercially. We


are in the best flower show in the world. Every florist strives for a


seagull medal. Is it opens all a Jesus? -- open to all ages? How


important is it to encourage young people to get involved? It is about


nurturing new talent. Imagine a 16-year-old with a Chelsea gold


medal. Wonderful. Time for something completely different. Taxi for two.


This is right up my street. Fun forestry. They are great. I always


think of Thailand's. The schedule was to create a vibrant street theme


and they have done it. Who designed all of this? These are designed by


all of the colleges so it is your one through to the most senior so


everybody gets a crack of the whip. How important is it that have humour


and fun in your floral design? Essential. Flowers knock the rough


edges off of life. Our class of 2016 garden designers are big believers


in putting flowers centre stage. Looking at what makes designers


take, we can reveal floral passions. This is my garden, 500 years of


Covent Garden. The three words I would use to describe myself would


be passionate, enthusiastic and creative. I chose to work in garden


design because I find it was a great way to express my creativity. I am


not very good at drawing ironically but moving plants and furniture


around a load me to express something inside. My earliest memory


of gardening is when I was about four, planting potatoes and my


grandad's garden and he was the person who inspired me. My favourite


I always have by my side because you never know when you are to remove


dead heads. My top tip is to use a focal point at the end of the stuff.


This is perfectly aligned by a window or door. What is it like


being at main avenue for the first time? Is there something you have


also wanted to do? Yes. It is an ambition of mine to come to Chelsea


and three years ago I managed to do that. It feels very grown-up. The


pressure is insane. I am here and the public and enjoying what we are


doing so I am happy. I remembered your artisan gardens at the back.


How nervous are you? You're about to do another flower show in a couple


of days. Yes. Sleep deprivation is one of the big things and when you


get to finish this sure you are talking to the public and you want


to be enjoying this time but also thinking about Chatsworth next week.


Also installing this and the Covent Garden so my brain is everywhere.


How important is it to be able to coordinate this? These shores are


built by people, you have the team of logistics. I have had an amazing


team behind me including the planting people and specifically the


people who built it and they never get recognised, it is all about the


designer on this kind of show. The main contractor John is absolutely


amazing and he can take that vision from my head and turn it into a


reality. It is a 50-50 partnership and without them the public could


not sit and enjoy this. Showing them a picture is different from nursing


them in this space. The hand of the artist creating it, an abstract idea


and without contractors knowing their staff, there is nothing worse


than the designer seeing that is not what I designed. The process has


been refined and it is amazing. It amazes me how we picture you conjure


up can become a real thing. That process you go through of drawings


and communication and logistically bringing together never ceases to


amaze me. A living breathing landscape. The contractors deserve


so much more credit than they necessarily get. They are such


superheroes. They are. We met up with careless Matthews who wanted to


know how to feed her roses. -- Cerys. Just the smell of roses has


this ability to turn the clock back seven or eight and I am in my


grandma's garden in Swansea. We used to take off the pedals and put them


in the water and try to make, not very good perfume but it was for the


family. A lot of us are looking for nostalgia. Roses do it for me every


time. Not just a pretty face. Gorgeous.


I love this because you get the scent of roses. I live in the middle


of London and I have an in formal effect. I have a lot of barbecues


and end up with a lot of ash. I have been putting my meat on the roses.


Is that a problem? It is not advisable to put a lot. It is high


phosphate that is the worst. It locks in the nutrients and the


plants cannot get it and the growth stunted and do not look healthy.


What should I do? Put on a little bit of start a compost tea. Most of


it you probably need to get rid of. You have inspired me. Like you.


I love it when a plan comes together. She has gone away happy.


Earlier this week the judges announced this year's prestigious


Best show garden award. Did you agree with their decision? They may


be judge and jury with the medals but you have your voice and we want


to hear it as you can cast your vote in the People's choice award. Here


is a reminder of the beautiful gardens in contention for the big


award. I think it is going to be very


interesting this year. When I look at a garden it has to be taken away


or take home. Something I can rip the kids or have the old garden. The


judge criteria is almost the exact opposite and I think that is why the


results are sometimes different. They have to be objective. Does the


garden meet the brief? For me it is about emotion, beautiful planting,


passion, that is what I want in a garden. We are going to have to wait


and see. Absolutely. All of the designers would love to win this


award. There's nothing quite like getting the recognition of the great


British public. Get online and vote for your favourite show garden.


There is more information online about the contenders. Remember the


one will be announced by Joel and Sophie on BBC One tomorrow evening.


We are back tonight at 8pm on BBC Two with action from a busy day at


Chelsea. As the cherry on the cake they will be giving you a delicious


tour of me rebury's garden. See you tomorrow. -- Mary Berry's.


We've made great strides tackling HIV.


Imagine if we could create a movement


Nicki Chapman and James Wong celebrate the small show gardens and meet some of the medal-winning designers. Carol Klein, Rachel de Thame and Simon Lycett offer practical gardening and floristry advice from around the showground.

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