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The first look of the garden...

Posted by 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!


Over the next few days the black fibreglass boxes you see will be clad in ivory limestone to create the stepping stone path and lushly planted islands of the scheme. All the ply boundaries at the back of the scheme will soon (i.e. this Thursday) be clothed in living walls, using a modular planting system that we have growing on under glass at Aldingbourne Nurseries with a collection of soft, mossy planting. Finally the Malaysian pavilion or 'wakaf' at the centre of the scheme (now a framework of reddish steel), will be clad with limestone and wooden slats to create a  cantilevered, 21st Century take on these traditional malay structures, which are  village meeting places where weddings and meetings are held.

 The stressful bit will come this Saturday, when all our large rainforest trees arrive on site. Normally just unloading, unwrapping and planting trees at shows is huge enough a challenge, but this year  this omninously cold weather has both of us really rather nervous. With long range forecasts predicting average Chelsea temperatures of 18C a few months ago, we were initially relaxed about how these would fair on site, but with temperatures as low as 4C this week we can't help but feel a little anxious. The good news is that a) the weather is supposed to pick up, with no frost forecast at least, and b) we have picked species native to relatively cooler, high altitude areas of the tropics specifically to guard against the risk of cold. We will be fine, I know, and if it wasn't a challenging build, that aimed to push a few boundaries then it wouldn't be Chelsea would it?

Onwards and upwards.....


cnep said:

well it sounds like its really coming along brilliantly,fingers crossed the weather changes for the better for you all hard at work over there.All your hard work and setbacks will be worth it when you see how fabulous it looks when its finished.Positive thoughts!!!!

on 11 May 2010 at 11:07 PM

cnep said:

Well it sounds like its coming along brilliantly,fingers crossed the weather will change for the better for you all working hard over there.All the hard work and setbacks will be worth it when you see how fabulous it looks when its finished...positive thoughts!!!!

on 11 May 2010 at 11:12 PM

Sheila Stanley said:

This is all so cool (no pun intended re weather!) - it's really coming together. Now all we need is a flow of warm Gulf Stream air over London in time for planting and Chelsea...All the best!

on 13 May 2010 at 01:45 AM

Lok said:

Hello James, my name is Lok Chan and I'm a huge fan of your work! I didn't know where to find the best way of contacting you, which is why you find me writing you here now. I would like to ask you: could you tell me when will be the time that you will visit the Netherlands for presentation or lecture? I would like very much to be able to attend it and see/hear you live. This is my e-mail-adress if you would be so kind contact me about it: Thanks in advance, and know that I'm looking very much forward to once hear/see you over here in my country.

on 14 Nov 2010 at 10:57 PM