Caitlin has always enjoyed plants and gardening, and has a natural flare for design (she undertook the design and creation of both our front and back gardens when she was a teenager, it was pretty impressive!), and although I am not quite as skilled at identifying plants I still appreciate the beauty of a good garden. Together each year we have loved the BBC’s coverage of the Chelsea Flower Show, and finally in May this year we were able to visit Chelsea for the first time on the same day! (It’s hard coordinating calenders when I was at Liverpool uni)
After our in depth questioning of The Rich Brothers we were inspired, and started our own game plan to make an RHS Show Garden of our own!
We would highly recommend attending some shows to get a hands on some insight into the RHS world, while also emphasising the invaluable experience of being able to question everyone about everything. Caitlin also headed off to Hampton Court Flower Show to do just that and question as many designers as she possibly could. So many were beyond helpful and encouraging, especially the ladies who created the Thetford Flint Knapper’s garden.
Our main questions for the teams we talked to were:
- How did you get accepted at Chelsea? – usual responses involved applying to smaller shows and doing well there, to then be accepted for a smaller Chelsea garden before moving onto Main Avenue.
- How did you fund it? – answers vary from the Rich Brother’s having a business contact and their own Landscaping company to supply the labour, to the Thetford Flint Knapper’s garden using the support of local residents and businesses to reach their total. Also there are the categories where the RHS fund all or part of your garden, or the options of working with nurseries who can offer discounted or donated plants.
All of this made a lot of sense to us and helped us create our work project timetables and deadlines. The furious note taking Caitlin took at Hampton Court and I took at Chelsea all came together to help us decide on which shows we want to apply for and how we were going to go about getting accepted. We are going to use this blog to keep track of progress and mark our milestones and small victories alike.
Here’s a photo of us with our haul from Chelsea…