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Chelsea Update February 20th

RHS Chelsea 2019 Update 20/02/19

On reflection, the winter has been kind to us so far. We have had a few scary nights when Matt our nursery manager has come back to work at 10pm to check the heaters are working and that his precious charges are nice and snug, but overall, we have coped well. We are the plant supplier to six gardens at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show, our ‘A List’ designers include Chris Beardshaw, Tom Hoblyn, Jo Thompson, Alistair Bayford, Joe Perkins, and Jonathan Snow. Between them a wide spectrum of gardens, and a total of over 20,000 plants, originating from all over the world, but all being grown or finished at our nursery in Somerset.


The plant list is wide ranging, from native woodland plants of Chile, to extreme Southern European Mediterranean carpet plants coastal windswept shrubs, and even some cottage garden classics! For the past three months, many of these plants have been tucked up in tunnels, making new roots into the pots that they were potted into back in the autumn. Now as fresh growth is beginning to appear the fun really starts. Every day Matt, and our Managing Director Dave Root, walk the nursery, assessing the plants, and monitoring growth. Some batches may need to be moved outside to stop them growing too quickly, others may need to move to a cooler place because they are stretching in what are still quite low light levels, and we need to delay the onset of growth until the day length increases. Others look perfectly happy where they are. The key is climate manipulation and having every plant in the right place in order for it to peak for the judges and the world’s press on 20th May.


Some plants already need more space, and others are yet to go into their final pots because they are very fast growing. Some of the quickest growing annuals have only just been sown because they will flower in 6 weeks from seed. Sue, our propagator is dealing with a vast number of seedlings currently and the prop house is totally rammed with young plants.
Some of the larger trees such as the 13 monkey puzzles for Jonathan Snow have been outside all winter and even took a dusting of snow.

This week Simon our projects manager and Dave, are based in southern Spain, with Tom Hoblyn, Joe Perkins, and a couple of other clients, searching for some key shrubs and perennials for some of the gardens, including agapanthus which we can have in flower for Chelsea provided they have a good start in the early spring Spanish sunshine.

It’s an exciting and frantically busy few months ahead of us now. Keep watching for our regular updates. 

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