RHS Chelsea 2023 - Update No.4

RHS Chelsea 2023 - Update No.4

February 3rd

The Big Clear Up!

Finally, the awful cold weather has moved on and we are enjoying halcyon days of milder daytime temperatures and frost-free nights. No one is happier than our nursery team who are gradually discarding their extra coats and thermal hats and are moving around less encumbered!

The tunnels are our little havens of hope and are warming up pleasantly during the daytime even with the vents open. 

The unpleasant smell of dead leaves and decay is being replaced with the moist humid scent of fresh growth and new leaves, and even the sweet fragrance from the flowers of Winter Box (Sarcococca).

Matt and Jess, our nursery supervisors are currently sweeping through the nursery, firstly removing any plants that succumbed to the horrific frosts when we hit -10 Celsius outside and -6 Celsius in the tunnels. These will have to be replaced.

Then they are going through every one of the many thousands of plants that we are growing for RHS Chelsea 2023, and removing old foliage, trimming back where required, and spacing them in preparation for the flush of growth that is about to happen as things move up a gear with ever increasing daylength.

Most of our nine Chelsea clients have been to Somerset to review and inspect their plants, and most of the plant lists are complete. There are always a few plant changes and additions right up to the completion of each garden, but in most cases the designer is happy with their plant choices and numbers. We too are generally pleased with the stock that we are growing, despite the ravages of the weather since November.

Sue, our very own propagation magician is hard at work in her warm prop house, sowing seeds and pricking out delicate seedlings with the skill of a surgeon.

It is hard to believe that these tiny seedlings will be fully grown flowering plants gracing a Chelsea Garden in less than four months! Conversely, Sue can often be seen with a machete or a saw, tearing through large woody perennials so that she can sub-divide them up into smaller pieces for potting on!

Overall, there is a great feeling of good things to come around the nursery. It might be premature to think that winter is over because it certainly is not! However, plants like people are generally very resilient and it is wonderful to see everything starting to grow again.

 Keep checking in for our next update soon!

Posted by Liam Murphy
6th February 2023

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