A Fantastic Start


The crew in arrive in London for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
The crew blending in at a London tube station.

The last couple of days have been fantastic – on the day the crew arrived (last Thursday) we spent a bit of time finalizing a few remaining items for the garden. The pendant light to hang beneath the canopy was a high priority and I have been looking at a website in Chelsea for months and for some reason I had a really good feeling that something good would come from it.  We started there and weren’t disappointed – I found three amazing options; we now just have to wait to see if we can get my number one choice from Italy in time. Turns out it was a good thing we started there because five lighting shops later and we still hadn’t found anything that came close to the quality of the first.

Ian picking out a light for the canopy in 'The Endeavor Garden' at the chandelier store in Chelsea.
Ian picking out a light for the canopy.

After a few more errands we went to collect the crew. I know I have done the Australia-to-UK trip many times before but speaking to the crew on the phone on the Wednesday, and then going to pick them up 30 hours later brought home just how arduous the trip really is. Despite this they were all pretty good, and we let them shower before a quick dinner and then it was off to the local to acquaint them with a pint.

Day one of the build was amazing – after two years spent in the planning phase we could finally get stuck in, and not just us but all the teams involved. The comradery around the place is great to be apart of, you would think with the money and time at stake with these show gardens that it would be a dog eat dog mentality but that couldn’t be further from the truth. I love it and as I drove the dumper around the site, I made a promise to try and take it all in this year.  This will be my last time at Chelsea and now that the build has started for some reason I just feel relaxed, overwhelmingly happy and proud that I got here. The next 15 days will be one of laughter, pressure, anxiety and everything else in-between but I am determined to enjoy every minute.

If you have time it is worth logging on and having a look at the competition: www.rhs.org.uk/showgardens. I personally love the concept behind the Failte Ireland garden but first out of the blocks and looking good early is the Principality of Monaco garden.

So on that note – let the games begin.