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Philippa Pearson

Behind the scenes diary for The Victorian Aviary Garden at Chelsea Flower Show and The Girlguiding UK Centenary Garden at Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2010

Goodbye Chelsea, hello Hampton Court

Posted by Philippa Pearson on 30 May 2010 at 06:26 PM

Chelsea finished yesterday to a chorus of wind and rain, somewhat different to the searingly scorching temperatures early in the week. I packed my belongings and walked for the last time around The Victorian Aviary Garden, saying goodbye to the plants and features that were my 'home' for several days. The complete garden will be re-located at one of the sponsor's (South Lakes Hotels) venues, Newby Bridge Hotel near the shores of Lake Windermere. How lovely to think this garden will live on and be appreciated and enjoyed by many more people in the years to come: I'm looking forward to see the garden change with the seasons, too.

Today, the guys from Stewart Landscape are dismantling the garden as we have only three days to clear the site, level it and practically make it look like we've never been there. I always find Breakdown distressing, and have chosen not to be there. Even though the garden will live on, it is upsetting to see it dismantled and packed up onto a lorry. At least it won't all end up in a skip.

The threads of the Girlguiding UK Centenary Garden at Hampton Court are being picked up and the tapestry being completed. I had a couple of meetings during Chelsea show week with the garden team from Girlguiding UK which was really helpful. Had another meeting with a designer friend who is helping with the multimedia area we have on the garden, and chatted with Nick Fecitt from Kirkstone who are supplying slate monoliths for the garden. Five days into Chelsea Build-Up, we had a site visit to Hampton Court to see our allotted spot. It was cold and windy that day and it is always hard to visualise how the garden will look on these occasions as one stands with teeth chattering looking at a vast expanse of grass. At least the Palace behind looked good.

It's just two weeks until we start building the garden, barely enough time to get my washing done and re-acquaint myself with the animals, my teenage daughter (doing her A-levels) and look wistfully at the weeds in my own garden which have trebled in size since my time away at Chelsea!


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