As you analyse a Chelsea show garden, strip away the glamour and listen for the deeper stories of the relationships that are being told.
I have just finished working for Designer James Basson and his team, for the L’Occitane garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016.
When I speak about relationships sure, I am talking about my relationships with people, and the joy that the people bring. Although, it is also far deeper than this. The relationships with plants and the way in which the plants connect with you and the landscape, enhances the importance of the garden.
For it is these types of relations that transport the visitors to France, it is these interactions that evoke emotional attachments to the garden. It is here where you will capture a moment of delight.
|Lavender fields on the edges of the garden|
This is my 3rd Chelsea flower show and 3rd time helping James put together show gardens. I consider myself incredibly lucky to be able to learn hands on from such an amazing group of people.
James put together a worldly team for this years show, all wanting to help create a garden from the region of Provence, in the South of France. We came from New Zealand, Scotland, France, Italy. Also America, Barbados and Spain. Not to forget myself from Australia and the locals from England!
|James Basson, Peter Dowle, Ange Dowle, Kate Grace, Xanthe White, Bruno Torini, Helen Basson|
Helping with the planting and details on the garden opens new ways to think about relationships. James has an incredible eye for looking at the landscape and bringing it into his designs and encouraging people to interact with it.
He has taught me to delve deeper into this, to critically analyse the relationships that the plants have with the hard materials, the topography, and therefore the soil.
The critical relationships the plants have with the sun that is either shining down in full force, or being hidden by the dense woodland in front. He has taught me to consider the way the water falls, to continue to make the landscape one can read, constantly asking yourself how will this react with that?
The story of the landscape is told by all who work on this garden, and each with their own tale to tell. This is essential to creating a unique garden that is woven with diverse personalities.
The relationships of the planting is intricate and purposeful, it is restricted yet free. The aesthetics of the planting is dictated by these relationships and when there is harmony the garden will sing.
Now, that the final rush of the details is over- before the judges arrive, and the garden has come to an end. It will begin to tell the tales of the many hands that came together to bring it to life.
|Happy days !|