Monday, 18 May 2009

Chelsea girl

My love affair with Chelsea began 4 years ago,
I've always been passionate about plants,from when I was a tiny little thing I've know the names of most wildflowers and trees and I've been gardening since I was in my teens, a window box here a hanging basket there, borrowing a small corner of a neighbours allotment and pottering about in my mums garden.
But it was 4 years ago that it become more than just a hobby. At the time I was working for a company who were sponsoring a show garden (along with the wildlife trust).My head office department thought it would be a good P.R thing to send a few shop staff up to the showground to "help out" with the gardens construction the week before Chelsea opened. My manager knowing I had a bit of green finger put my name down and off I went to London.

I think all the other staff that had turned up over the week had hung about for an hour or so, had a few photos taken holding a spade and then, disappeared to go shopping on the kings road. I on the other hand fell in love as soon as I arrived I just found the whole thing incredible, the plants, the people, the whole atmosphere. I got stuck in straight away chatting to all the builders, quizzing the designer about everything, swooning over all the plants. I was in heaven.
After proving my mettle I was given a 2ft by 2ft corner to finish planting all on my own, helped clean out the pond and helped to lay turf in the meadow area. I ended up staying on till 10pm (I was meant to go home at 4pm) and had one of the best days of my life.

I think it was when I was standing knee deep in sludgy water helping to drain the pond for the second time that I realized this was exactly what I wanted to do with my life.
I wanted to be a gardener.

So within a few days after my Chelsea Epiphany, I'd enrolled at college and began devouring every Plant, garden and design book our local library stocked. I went out to the scrappy backyard behind my little flat and pulled up all the weeds and designed and created my very first attempt at a cottage garden all of my own.

And now here I am 4 years later working as a horticulturist, living the good life in the country with my dream (still work in progress)cottage garden and still being madly and passionately in love with plants and gardens.

So the Chelsea flower show has an important place in my heart, and one day you'll see me there with my own show garden.

(my garden 2005 image via giles landscaping)


silversewer said...

How wonderful that you managed to change your life after a visit to Chelsea.

It had been one of my ambitions to go to the show and in 1998 we were given 2 tickets....oh boy did we have a fabulous day. We also went to the Hampton Court Flower show and Gardeners World in Birmingham.

I am a plant nut too. We have just moved into a house which has a courtyard at the back, we are not allowed to take it up, the house is rented, but I have started building a garden. My son has made me two really deep containers on legs which I will plant up. We also have quite a few pots and containers of various sizes around, I have some photos on my blogspot.

We also have an allotment where we grow vegetables and soft fruit.

My OH has been out this morning planting a montana clematis to go up the fence. The edge of the courtyard is gravel on top of some sort of weed supressant, so we have been making planting pockets, so far we have a climbing rose iceberg and the clematis in, I also have a climbing compassion rose, but it needs potting up to get some growth on before I put it in the ground. I bought it and the iceberg bare rooted.

It will take a while for me to get the garden how I want it, cash being the main draw back, or rather the lack of it!!! but I will get there eventually.

jess said...

Thanks for the lovely comment,

Its amazing how much can be achieved gardening in containers. I shall put up some thifty tips soon, so stay posted.

jess x


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