Having won Gold and Best In Show for his NGS tribute garden in 2002, Roger is back at Chelsea this year with his first large show garden in eight years.
He was under some pressure to come up with a dream idea in a matter of months for garden sponsors M&G Investments, also the Flower Show’s new three-year main sponsor.
In any given year Roger is at least a season ahead of himself in a typical Chelsea build-up. This year, however, he has been working against the clock to prepare twice the amount of plants required in a matter of weeks. How?
“With determination, a lot of man hours and a little bit of luck!” says Roger, who already has nearly 4,000 perennials potted up, plus an ‘instant’ yew hedge that has just arrived along with a delivery of birch and hornbeams. “Despite a long, cold winter – perhaps the worst for 30 years – by juggling temperature regimes the roses and perennials are now well under way. We are, however, already making preparations to protect young shoots in the event of late Spring frosts.”
M&G Investments were keen to involve Roger in designing a garden that could highlight their company ethos of ‘nurturing expertise’ while upholding the traditions and values of M&G and the RHS. As such, a modern twist on a traditional tale, incorporating mostly British grown plants with some contemporary highlights in the stronger structures such as a circular ‘ripple’ pool. The garden features a central crescent shape with pathways that lead to an oak summerhouse against a backdrop of Roger’s trademark planting and oak pergolas. The design is intended to inspire visitors with a celebration of the traditional.
In this Year of Biodiversity it is appropriate that Roger has incorporated sustainability through locally sourced materials such as the locally quarried sandstone, reclaimed bricks and regional oak. There are also cornerstone species in the design to attract and harbour the kind of wildlife that maintain the country’s diversity.
Tags: The Chelsea Flower Show 2010, Garden Design, The M&G Garden, Preparation, News, Quintessential, Traditional English Garden.