Chelsea Flower Show 2017

My 24th year at Chelsea! I can’t believe it. Where did those years go? The weather was wonderful with 6 days of sunshine and only one short sharp shower on Saturday morning.

We spend Sunday setting up the stand with all my new artwork, with the focus on several large pieces especially for the show. We had new lights, pots and plants and got it all ready for the judges to view it on Monday. The big surprise for me on Tuesday morning was to be awarded The RHS 3 Star Award for my stand! Its only taken 24 years, best not to rush these things! I was thrilled, what a great start to the week. 

 

Monday is press day with lots of celebrities and publicity stunts. It is the fun day to be there to see all the TV crews and this year all the Radio 2 DJ’s. We have very special visitors on Monday afternoon before the show opens to the public. A selection of Royals get their preview of all the gardens. This year I was fortunate to see the Queen, she really is marvellous for 91 years of age.

The gardens at Chelsea were interesting as usual, some controversial but all showing horticultural of the highest standard. My favourite was the Japanese Artisan garden with its waterfall and beautiful cushions of moss.

I had a successful week with sales and commissions, meeting up with collectors of my work and making new connections and sales to South Africa, Australia, Ireland and USA.

 I came home to my garden overflowing with coIour….and weeds! I now have two weeks to rest, tidy up the garden and get organised for my Open Studios on June 10th, 11th and 17th, 18th. Hope to see in Oswestry then!

 

Preparing for Chelsea Flower Show

It’s that time again when the weeks fly by and the “to do” list grows! Chelsea has become my main focus of the year for exhibiting my new work. From the time I arrive home in December from Australia up until mid May I am busy creating new pieces.  I think about how the stand will look for the whole week and I know I will need lots of choice of pictures so it will look as good on the last day as the first. 

This embroidery “Early Morning Frost” will be one of the largest pieces on display. I always aim to have a wide range of picture sizes and subject matter for people view.  I meet collectors of my work there each year and it’s good to have a few ideas they haven’t seen before!

Here is a new piece inspired by the garden at Plas Tan Y Bwlch in North Wales. Dappled shadows are always a favourite of mine.

The design of my stand has to be considered in plenty of time too. I have invested in new lights this year and a change of colour for my counter and stencilled lettering on the walls.  We all need to have a floral content to our display and I am fighting off the slugs so my prize hostas can take centre stage!

It’s worth all the time and effort invested, it’s the top horticultural show in the world and standards are exceptionally  high!