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Saturday May 18 , 2024

Blue Daisy Blog

Blue Daisy blog written by Nicki Jackson & Jules Clark - for news, views, garden design, gardening and plant observations and thoughts.

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BBC, Chelsea and Alan Titchmarsh

Posted by on in News & Views

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2012

We have heard over the last few weeks that Alan Titchmarsh will no longer be presenting the BBC RHS Chelsea programme next year and instead Monty Don and Sophie Raworth will be taking the reigns.  Some reports are suggesting that Alan has been squeezed out by being offered a lesser role so he felt there was no alternative to him other than stepping down completely.  If that's true it is a shame that after 30 years of being the face of the RHS Chelsea on the BBC that was the only option he saw open to him.

Regardless how you feel about Alan or Monty I think you do have to question the BBC's decision somewhat even though Monty is undoubtedly a well known gardener, the anchor of Gardener's World and has TV programmes, books and columns under his belt.  Monty freely admits that he is not a trained gardener but a hobbyist that has become very successful and has in turn brought his passion to gardening.  Alan on the other hand is a time served gardener, he has experience and knowledge in bucket loads, he has also designed and built a show garden so he has some understanding of what goes in to creating one, and the pressures people are under to deliver the very best they can in the time and budget allotted.  Alan is also a huge advocate of horticulture and is involved in working with the RHS to improve the modern day perception of horticultre as a career.   I do admire both of these TV horticultural personalities in different ways, I have no doubt that Monty will ooze passion but I wonder how he will fare with presenting such a flag ship programme not only for the BBC but also the RHS, they are some large shoes he must fill.

Sophie Raworth, a BBC journalist is no doubt very adept at interviewing and getting the best from people and she will be the support that Monty may need but she has admitted herself she is not a gardener or a designer.  I'm not sure that the BBC has made the best move here, there are so many other designers and horticulturalists out there that have more experience and lots of passion but I will not join the masses that are refusing to watch it; instead I will watch with bated breath and I sincerely hope they succeed and do our amazing industry proud.


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Chelsea Flower Show 2013

Posted by on in News & Views

In case you’ve missed mention of it The RHS Chelsea Flower Show has been on this week and I’ve been gutted that I haven’t had the opportunity to go down and check it out for myself this year.  While it’s for a good reason - I’ve been so busy doing designs for Blue Daisy's own clients - not being able to get there in person hasn't stopped me taking a sneaky peek at the TV occasionally.  From what I’ve managed to see, here are some of my favourite garden designer bits:

Arthritis Research GardenDesigner Chris Beardshaw never seems to disappoint, and this year he continues to inspire with his Arthritis Research Garden.  A personal journey for him - he was diagnosed with arthritis in his teens - his planting is absolutely gorgeous and I just love the scupture that's forming the focal point in this shot. 

This garden is a sum of its parts and is split into 3 sections that represent the journey that arthritis sufferers go through from diagnosis through to managing their condition effectively and with confidence.  The warm, vibrant planting in this image forms the Radiant Garden, representative of that final happier stage.  See Chris Beardshaw talk about his 2013 show garden here.

Chris won a well deserved gold medal for his efforts and the coveted People's Choice award.

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Is Prince Harry taking after his father for green fingers?

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helicopterseedsYes, you read it right Prince Harry, it seems, has applied to the RHS to exhibit in Central Avenue of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2013.

Details are still to be confirmed but it appears the garden has been commissioned by the children’s charity Sentebale which was founded by Prince Harry. It is thought that B&Q will be sponsoring the garden and Prince Harry will be having help from a former Chelsea Gold Medal winner, Jinny Bloom.

Rumours abound that Harry has a passion for Tulips and Begonias, an interesting concept considering some of his latest media altercations and his passion for the Army Air Corps. It’s great for horticulture that someone his age who is third in line to the throne is getting involved, it can only be a positive thing....although I am finding it difficult picturing him planning his garden whilst in Afghanistan!


Latest Update 5 February 2013:

The garden that has been desiged by Jinny Blom with input from Harry while he was serving in Afghanistan is to feature the hearts and crown motif on a stone terrace which was Princess Diana's favourite motif.  It will include Trifolium repens 'William' which is said to be a tribute to his brother and he has requested forget-me-nots. 

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Chelsea 2011

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It can't have escaped your notice that was the RHS Chelsea Flower Show recently and what a show it was from beautiful displays in the floral marquee through to amazing show gardens!  For me it was the show gardens that really attracted me the most, don't get me wrong I am a plant lover but I prefer to look at plants in situ and see how they work with other plants and different materials.

An RHS Gold Medal and The Best In Show Award went to The Daily Telegraph Garden designed by Cleve West who demonstrates how the more traditional materials can be combined with more modern materials comfortably.  Space too was included in his design which is a brave yet confident move, a lot of show gardens are crammed full but this space added to the calm and peacefulness of the garden.  For me personally it wasn't best in show - call me what you will but I didn't feel inspired and excited by this garden, I loved the planting and the clever use of materials but it felt 'comfy'.

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