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Reflections on Chelsea 2013

 

Le Jardin de Yorkshire

To be supplying 7 gardens, 2 Grand Pavilion displays and 4 trade stands with various Lindum products at this year’s  Chelsea Flower Show is a record for us, and one that we are proud of. Our contracts manager, the tireless  Roger Moore, had spent several days the previous week ensuring that the correct product, emerging from field or polytunnel, was cut to the correct shape, delivered in pristine condition to the right areas of the ground, and most importantly, was correctly installed.

When I arrived at the show to the news that we had been involved in 7 gold medals and 2 silver gilts, I was really looking forward to seeing the finished results.

For several weeks we had been nurturing our Wildflower Meadow Turf for the Welcome to Yorkshire Artisan Garden designed by Alistair Baldwin. What a joy to see it looking totally natural in its new surroundings as if it had been there forever, wildflowers standing proudly above the grasses around the magnificent Emma Stothard sheep sculptures, as the imaginary Tour de France peleton raced by. An overheard remark that this was the finest wildflower meadow seen at a Chelsea Flower Show, was heartening indeed.

The sedums we grow in our SedumPlus green roof mats were used to extraordinary effect in the Alcove (Tokonma) Artisan Garden bringing delicate and uniquely textured life to the walls and roofs of this enchanting garden. Sedum, used either on its own, or in mixtures with other drought tolerant herbs and flowers, can make such an impact on a roof, and support great biodiversity.

Nigel Dunnett, achieved a gold at last, and deservedly so for his wonderful and calming RBC Blue Water Garden. The inspiration for Lindum Green Roof  mat mixes, he showed just how it can be done with a range of drought tolerant plants, as well as making use of recycled grey water. London should be covered with roof gardens like this!

For many years turf has been the poor relation at Chelsea, put into show gardens where the designer felt he had to have a bit of lawn, or slapped down to cover bare areas surrounding gardens and stands. Every join visible, cracks opening up in a scorching period, mud showing its ugly face in a downpour. Our development of Grassfelt, a soil-less grass growing in a strong felt base, was first recognised by  Andy Sturgeon several years ago when he wanted bold expanses of lawn in one piece. This year, the Brewin Dolphin garden, the East Village Garden, the 9 Billion Conversation Garden, and the First Touch Garden, all had used Grassfelt to great effect – the rich, luminous green carpet with no visible joins, announcing to the world that grass is to be appreciated in a garden. Other trade stands, and stands in the Great Pavilion had used Grassfelt to powerfully emphasise their products.

I left Chelsea, weary but delighted at how our little bit of Yorkshire had made the difference at Chelsea.

 

Stephen Fell  May 2013