I read last year that Dan Pearson and his Chelsea team did a dry run of the garden they presented, which must have been quite the feat given the size of the boulders they used. We too are doing a dry run, although on a far less grand or comprehensive scale.
The setting out is done, at least an initial setting out onto a rather bleedy weed suppressing fabric. I should be telling you how I knew it would look good and be perfectly proportioned but to be honest it was no less exciting finding out that it really did work as a space to walk through and into, and that everything fitted together as planned. There were of course one or two tweaks. I always ask clients to walk through pegged out spaces, to make sure they like the feel of the scale and dimension on their new plot. Sometimes adjustments to path widths or terrace sizings are made sometimes not. Best to make these changes before anyone starts the digger!
Last week we appeared in the Cambridge Magazine, this week the industry ‘mag’ Vitis had a small feature on us at Tatton, a popular show for the SGD folk by the look of it. I have to say that almost all my business comes from my website and from referrals, thus every little bit of online linkage helps and external promotion never goes amiss.
On Monday we will be skipping down to Hortus Loci to select our plants. I am excited about this but in the same measure anxious to be ready for choosing options should our chosen lovelies have gone over, or more likely with current weather patterns still be sulking without a flower spike in sight. A few people have snorted when I have said who we chose for plant supply (high end option!) but as complete newbies to show gardening and with a landscaper who is also new to it we wanted to have some great experience on the team and HL have brought that in spades.
Experience of staging a show garden is something that ‘you don’t know that you don’t know about’ until you do it. I’ve learned a lot not just about the process of designing in abstract but also the demands of the big show ground, legal, logistical, forward planning and on and on. The RHS Exhibitor Manual is great, full, full, full of useful information. Is it dense? yes, is that good? YES. I have read it cover to cover along with the H&S manual. I have then flipped back and forward to find things online and again in the hard copy. The hard copies of both are filled with post-it’s which no longer really hi-light key info as there are so many pieces of key info. We have CDM’d and Risk Assessed alongside Scheduling and Stating Works. I feel right at home! now all I need is some Stake Holder Management milestones and a batch of Deliverables to finish it off.
If you are coming to the show itself do come and say hello! Plot TP324 in a great spot between THREE champagne bars…I kid you not!