Delivering plants to Chelsea

by Jekka McVicar

Wendy has spent the past few days tidying the plants and loading them onto trolleys for the Chelsea show gardens that we're supplying.

Wendy from Jekka's Herb Farm loading up plants to be delivered to ChelseaWendy has spent the past few days tidying the plants and loading them onto trolleys for the show gardens that we're supplying. Then Mac, my husband, has been delivering them to the gardens at Chelsea.

Cleve West, designer of the BUPA garden, kindly texted to say the angelicas we'd grown for him were the best in the show ground. However he did text again to ask how to keep them looking good in the heat. It has without doubt been one of the toughest build ups to Chelsea I've ever known. An incredibly late, cold spring followed by a heat wave is the worst mix possible. The good news is that it's now getting cooler, which will keep our plants looking fresh in the Great Pavilion.

A mock-up of Jekka McVicar's display for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2008I've spent the last few days creating a mock-up of my display. This gives me a chance to quietly position the plants, working out heights, textures and plant combinations. This is very difficult to do on site as we only have three days to build the display and the pavilion is always very hectic and crowded with everyone's plants. Creating a mock-up also allows us to only load plants that are actually required in the display. This minimises the damage to the plants and reduces the trips to and from London.

I make a drawing and planting plan from the display and, for insurance, take a few photographs. It's then taken down and we tidy each selected plant. With some plants we have to tie up loose branches so that they are not damaged in transit. We also make sure that each plant is well watered before packing.

This year I've also created new plant labels. I've kindly been given a label printer to try out. This machine produces beautiful waterproof labels, ideal for the garden. Another plus is that I can now include the full botanical name, common name and a short description of culinary or medicinal uses. I hope this extra information will further inspire those that see the display to grow and use herbs.

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Gardeners' World Web User 22/05/2008 at 22:31

You had a hare sundial could you tell me where you got it from. I'm looking for an unusual sundial as a present.

Gardeners' World Web User 16/06/2010 at 15:30

I think it would be a great idea to incorporate barcode labels in to more everyday life. Having seen that the iphone has app's that you can download to scan and compare prices of food online, as well as an app that tells you the content of the food. Would look in to it myself, get a bit of use out of my barcode label printer. Great start, just hope they keep developing the idea!

Gardeners' World Web User 28/11/2011 at 18:31

I do love to hear that things are going well for Chelsea I hope you are rewarded again for all your hard work love herbs, they not only bring life to the garden they light up a culinary experience