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Backstage pass to building a garden at Chelsea

Posted by James Wong on 18 Feb 2010 at 09:09 PM

In just 95 days the ribbon will be cut on what will be the first-ever full size tropical show garden in Chelsea's over 100 year history - and my design partner David Cubero and I are incredibly excited to have won the contract to design and create the ambitious new project- which to be honest is exciting and daunting in equal measure!

"The Tourism Malaysia Garden", designed to give visitors to Chelsea a taste of the spectacular landscapes, bizarre flora and vibrant, modern culture of the Malaysian Archipelago, will cover some 220 square meters and is inspired by lush rainforests and traditional Malaysian village gardens - albeit interpreted through a cool, ultra modern lense. Being part Malaysian and having spent a huge amount of my childhood there, this is a really personal journey for me, and with stiff competition & having set ourselves a rather ambitious brief, it should be a pretty eventful journey.

It will be David and my third RHS show garden and second time at Chelsea, so we have a pretty good idea of the trials and tribulations we will be facing, and as I personally think the most exciting aspect of building show gardens is what goes on behind the scenes, in this blog I thought I would give an insider's guide to all that is involved in creating a garden at what is undoubtedly the world's greatest flower show.

Stay tuned for what happens next and wish us luck!





EvaInNL said:

So double congratulations are in order then James: for Chelsea and the second TV series (found the BBC press release last night)!

Am looking forward to both, but certainly the behind-the-scenes updates on Chelsea, am trying to get there this year and will certainly visit your and David's garden! The modern take on malaysian gardens is very intruiging!

Good luck!

on 19 Feb 2010 at 10:04 AM

EvaInNL said:

Strange, my earlier comment wasn't posted so here we go again:

Congratulations James (and David!), a lovely theme for Chelsea, can't wait to see it when I come over. And very nice of you to give us a behind the scenes look at what goes on in the run up to the opening!

Also congrats on the second TV series!

Good luck!

on 19 Feb 2010 at 10:17 AM

EvaInNL said:

As you can tell, patience isn't one of my virtues... sorry moderator! :)

on 19 Feb 2010 at 01:30 PM

gardenmaster said:

Congratulations, When i was at Caple manor college i had the honour of being part of there show team and helped construct the Zenica garden which won a gold medal :) for those that have not had the experience in constructing a show garden i think that this blog will be worth waiting for to get a fell of what happens behind the scenes before the big day.

on 19 Feb 2010 at 07:13 PM

Jen said:

Good Luck. You wont need it though, after all that hard work im sure you will be able to see the passion and spirit in the garden when its complete.

on 04 Mar 2010 at 04:54 PM

Colin said:

Good luck with the show, James.

Incidentally, I was wondering how much angelica tummy soother I should give my babt for colic? She suffers from colic terribly and it can be very distressing. The book says one to two wine glasses a day, but this seems a lot for a baby. Can you tell me what the dosage should be?

Thank you for your help.

on 23 Mar 2010 at 10:22 PM

Stephanie said:

Hello James,

I read about you in The Star today. What a great project you are involved in. I wish you all the success in showcasing Malaysian garden and a really warm weather for these two months - good for the plants and everyone :-D

Btw, I was looking for information on Nepenthes pitcher plants and stumbled upon this site (you probably knew already) - check them out, they have  

Tacca integrifolia "Giant" that you were looking for.

Good luck!

on 01 Apr 2010 at 10:44 AM

The Legendary Frank said:

Sounds great James and I'll really look forward to it!

on 27 Apr 2010 at 09:35 PM

ckurkdol said:

Dear Mr Wong, I leaf a message on your Amphibian Designs website. Please check it, thank you very much!

on 03 Dec 2010 at 03:07 PM

ckurkdol said:

Mr Wong, I left a message on your Amphibian Designs website. Please check it, thank you very much!

on 03 Dec 2010 at 03:08 PM