Countdown to the Chelsea Flower Show

by Jekka McVicar

It is a mere 16 weeks before we are on site, and 12 weeks before the gardens are built at the Chelsea Flower Show.

Jekka's Herb FarmThe weather seems to be getting more and more unpredictable. From the start of this year, here in South Gloucestershire, we've had night time temperatures as low as -3°C and as high as 11°C. A few weeks ago we were flooded and then unbelievably the snow settled on the floods!

All this and it is a mere 16 weeks before we are on site, and 12 weeks before the gardens are built at the Chelsea Flower Show. I always find it a miracle that the plants are ready for the show. It's as if the plants know Chelsea is the best show in the world, so they perform their socks off.

This year we are growing organic herbs for, not only our display, but also for two of the large show gardens. This is how a small organic nursery covers the cost of putting on its own exhibit. It's a huge responsibility; we have to grow the best and make sure that everything is perfect for the designers and clients. The gardens are 'The Daylesford Organic Garden - Summer Solstice', which is being designed by the charismatic team of Tommaso del Buono and Paul Gazerwitz and 'The BUPA Garden' which is being designed by the wonderful Cleve West. As to our display, this could, if we achieve a gold medal, be our 60th RHS Gold and our 13th at Chelsea. With that in mind the theme of our display will be 'The Medicinal, Mythical and Magical World of Herbs'.

We'll be highlighting the wonderful properties and stories of herbs such as Artemisia abrotanum, Southernwood, Abrotano (Italian), Fu ngaai (Chinese, Cantonese). Medicinally, this plant has been used as a bitter tonic to treat menstrual disorders and as a vermifuge (a treatment to destroy parasitic worms) to rid children of threadworm. Historically, it was said to repel demons, deter snakes and thieves and act as an antidote to magic potions. On the downside, it was thought to cause impotency!

Over the coming weeks I'll be writing about how we're doing, what we're growing and some tricks for getting plants to the show on time. I'll explain how we tackle pests and diseases, how we grow plants from seed and raise them organically to flower for that one special week in May, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

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Talkback: Countdown to the Chelsea Flower Show
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Gardeners' World Web User 26/02/2008 at 20:37

can you tell us if your potting mix is made in the uk or not? Is it green waste or coir? and can we buy it from anywhere?

Gardeners' World Web User 06/03/2008 at 13:59

Thx for this: I love the idea that edible gardens are being made by elite trend setters such as the Gaerwitz duo as I am a firm believer that creating useful edible gardens and promoting urban home grown food is what is ahead. And it is important to de-ghetto-ise the idea: no one doe snot have to be an eco warrior to grow food in town.

Some will turn to this trend because of crazy food costs and others because gastro gardens will be a source of personal chic creds.

And it is becoming easier: More and more designs enable one to grow potatoes in bags or herbs etc... so no 'farming' or even gardening skills are required. Love our blog, Anne

Gardeners' World Web User 03/12/2009 at 15:34

Чёрт возьми! Круто! Вы Сами ответили. Беру в цитник! Смысл жизни и всё остальное. Решено. Без шуток.

Gardeners' World Web User 02/01/2010 at 15:41

It is extremely interesting for me to read the post. Thanks for it. I like such themes and everything that is connected to this matter. I definitely want to read a bit more on that blog soon.

Gardeners' World Web User 16/01/2010 at 06:12

А мне блог понравился

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