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  • Tuesday Team Brief

    Andy McIndoe on 18 May 2010 at 12:49 PM

    Tuesday morning - just had the staging team briefing. Some are regular Super Troupers and others are new recruits - all are very excited - all set for our Adventure in Gardening! The minibus - our transport of delight for the next few days has arrived. Ricky is busy loading ready for three lorries to arrived in London tomorrow - the first just after we arrive on site - hopefully.


    By the time I left the show last night the team seems to be well on schedule.  The paving is nearing completion - just the tricky bits of cutting and grouting still to do.  The edging is still to do. We use timber sleepers and paint them - grey this year to match the garden pavilion at the end of the diary room. Read More...

  • Cold Turkey

    Tom Hoblyn on 17 May 2010 at 08:36 PM
    I was starting to worry tat it was going to be a cold Chelsea and that my Turkey inspired planting would look kind of appropriate in the glum. But today the sun shone and it's forecasted to stay. Hooray! moral is boosted


  • First day on site

    Andy McIndoe on 16 May 2010 at 09:56 AM
    The First Day on Site The first day on site seemed to have gone pretty well by the time I left. The Team: Neil, Nigel, Pete and Steve had unloaded the lorries, covered the site with polythene, and marked out the plan by the time I arrived just before midday.  Brian from organicstone was there with the paving sorting it with his usual care and attention to detail ready for laying. The Venetian palace, a new stone structure by Redwood stone is an additional challenge for the construction team this year. 

    They have built similar in the past so have a good idea of what’s involved.  This, along with the paving, edging, pool, stature plinths and the arrival of the big trees on Saturday means there is a lot to do. 

    I have arranged a little extra manpower to help with offloading and moving plant material to take some pressure off the construction crew – I hope its enough! I felt much more confident as the afternoon moved on. They had built the base of the palace – up to 3 courses of quoins by four o’clock and intended to make a start on the paving. Tomorrow will be the next three layers or so – then the paving.  We have to build up in layers to let the mortar go off between building sessions. Tim and the Redwood Stone team are on site for the weekend so are on hand to help if necessary. 

    The Pavilion seems a little more pleasant this year.  The grass has been nicely cut and prepared and dust is being kept to a minimum with water – long may it continue. There are also more exhibitors inside making a start.  The City of Birmingham Chinook helicopter is in position and hovering. This type of carpet bedding display is always a crowd pleaser and was so much a feature of Chelsea in days gone by. Read More...

  • Innovation and drama

    Alexandra Denman on 15 May 2010 at 05:27 PM

    Simon Lycett must be one of the most creative and wonderful people to work with. He never ceases to amaze Sarah Owen, Deputy Show Manager, and I on his innovation. Last year you might remember he designed and built, with his lovely colleague Julie, the box hedging backdrop for the new competition ‘RHS Chelsea Florist of the Year’. Well he is back this year with a new design and when it comes to proving something fresh and different Simon never disappoints.


    I have just seen over to see the first part of the build complete. 15 multicoloured umbrellas appear to tumble down from the 6m roof of the pavilion – as you can imagine they look fab! Read More...

  • No going back.............

    Andy McIndoe on 13 May 2010 at 05:59 PM

    With so much action on site already it may seem that Hillier are a bit tardy in setting out for London.  The Great Pavillion is different - you can't start until its up. Tomorrow, Friday, is the first day we can get in site to begin the hard landscaping.  Nigel, one of the construction team spent the day loading the first lorry with all the tackle we take with us.  Timber buildings, paving, blocks, sand and ballast will all be delivered direct to site.

    The first four - the construction team will start out early tomorrow morning - hopefully arriving just ahead of our lorry - them its unloading with a view to starting to lay foundations and paving straight after lunch.  The first thing we do is to cover the site - The Monument - with polythene.  You can't dig down in The Pavilion - everything has to be built up instead.  Then its full steam ahead before the plants start pouring in next Tuesday.  The only plants that go in early are the big trees - These are the foundations of the planting and we take around twenty or so in containers up to 600litre.  These will be joined by double the number of smaller trees early next week.  The big trees get loaded tomorrow and arrive on site on Saturday


  • All sorted for trees and whizz

    Tom Hoblyn on 12 May 2010 at 06:04 PM
    At last, the tree debacle is resolved in the form of Quercus frainetto. I am still going to use Q. cerris but I sourced a large Q. frainetto that can hold its own beside my monster Parrotia. It means I've gone a bit off piste as regards the brief, but frainetto is an oak that is found growing readily in Turkey. So the trees are sorted and now we can concentrate on getting our living walls in show condition. Unfortunately, the Selaginella (moss) still thinks its winter and refuses to grow.


  • What a difference a day makes

    Alexandra Denman on 11 May 2010 at 07:13 PM

    The last few days have started very cold and today was no exception. I get in around 6.30am and walk the site to check nothing has gone awry over night. Having the site to yourself is very special and today was a beautiful start, with the sun just coming up over Roger Platt's garden for the show sponsor M & G.

    Derek, on the South Lakes garden, looked frozen solid at 7.30am barrowing mortar but by the end of the day with the aviary in place everything and everyone was looking rosier.


  • The first look of the garden...

    James Wong on 10 May 2010 at 11:35 PM

    Well still not quite a 'garden', but on our 6th day on site the basic structure of the design is definately emerging - as the comparison between our computer model and this photo we took today shows.  It's really reassuring to see that we seem to be nicely on schedule!



  • Tree Debacle

    Tom Hoblyn on 10 May 2010 at 02:53 PM
    This year has been an odd year climatically speaking. I picked out my Quercus cerris 10 months ago for being a perfect Chelsea standard tree. It has been in the UK for 2 years and completely acclimatised. Yet, when it was delivered, I realised that it was very late coming into leaf. The odd thing being, that cerris always comes into leaf before Q. palustris, yet palustris is already quite leafed up. So, much to my supplier's annoyance, I rejected it and asked for another. The next one will also not make the grade, so I drove up to the nursery this morning and spent some time searching for the best one. The jury's still out, but one thing is for sure: we are not having cerris at Chelsea this year, and time is running out for an alternative that sticks to the brief.


  • Is this really May?

    Andy McIndoe on 09 May 2010 at 07:04 PM

    I blame the BBC - they wanted to talk about the weather - lots of "jeopardy".  At that point I really believed warm days and sunshine were just around the corner - how wrong could I be.  Yesterday (Saturday) was really a miserable day in the garden - cold, dry with a chilling wind and so overcast it barely got light! The sort of day you can cope with in December because its over at 4p.m.! 

    I visited the nursery on Friday and had a look at some of the show plants with Rick - the roses look great, but those buds are tiny - like petit pois! The rhododendrons are OK although some of those are reluctant.  The Digitalis 'Serendipity' a new plant launch might be OK for Hampton Court - can't see it at Chelsea.  The philadelphus? - dream on!.  Read More...

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