This year has seen Mark Gregory build his 98th and 99th show gardens for RHS Chelsea Flower Show. The two gardens, situated side by side on Main Avenue, which made logistics easier to manage, were as contrasting in concept and design as they were in challenges.
This year’s Welcome to Yorkshire Show Garden, the tourist board’s 10th anniversary at the show in fact, is putting a piece of West Yorkshire in the heart of SW1. For Mark as a designer, it is another opportunity to collaborate with many of the team and specialists from last year.
Never one to shy away from a challenge, Mark and the team are building Chelsea Flower Show’s first canal lock! As last year, by using reclaimed yorkstone all the way from Yorkshire and by using traditional techniques from RLC Dry-Stone Walling, the picture postcard is truly starting to take shape.
The ground work for the water feature by Fairwater has been done, but it will start to come into it’s own once the “lock” has been filled with water. The Lock Keeper’s cottage will help to set the scene, together with the reclaimed authentic lock gates. As well as having a perennial meadow, from Lindum Turf, plants will be supplied by Hortus Loci and by John Wheatley, for the “slice of life” vegetable patch, as per last year.
By contrast, the Dubai Majlis Show Garden, designed by Tom Hoblyn, is inspired by arid landscapes and has a Middle Eastern feel. Using traditional earth rendering techniques by specialist company Rebearth to create sand-dune-like shapes, and Portland limestone paving in contrast to a burnt sienna ironstone gravel, it will conjure a wind swept, terraced hillside.
A sand-dune inspired pavilion, made using steam bent wood, will provide a calm shelter, for young people to socialise in. The hope is to relocate this garden at the end of the show. We will bring you more news on this soon.