The Lifestyle Magazine of Kent, Surrey & Sussex

Local Talent on Show

Local Talent on Show


As we get set to celebrate all things floral at the annual Chelsea Flower Show, we shine the spotlight on locals playing their part


There are few garden-lovers who are not rubbing their hands in glee now that spring is well and truly here. And what better way to celebrate the season than to go out and about looking at plants and gardens? There can be few shows more exciting and vibrant than the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, which takes place this year from 24th to 28th May at Chelsea’s Royal Hospital.

As one of the top events in the horticultural calendar, visitors to the show will be stunned by the allotments, flower displays and show gardens and see the latest in contemporary garden design and gain inspiration from ideas-a-plenty. This is the showiest garden show of the year and it’s not to be missed!

Look out for…

Of course there will be many local participants in this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Marden-based Jo Thompson, for example, has designed The Chelsea Barracks garden, sponsored by Qatari Diar, which is inspired by the heritage of the Chelsea Barracks site. It combines ideas from the architecture and landscaping of the new development, which neighbours the Royal Hospital. Roses and perennials planting are the main feature because they connect to the Garrison Chapel with its stained glass Rose Window.


Brighton-based Juliet Sargeant is presenting The Modern Slavery garden, marking the Modern Slavery Act passed by British parliament a year ago. The garden alludes to the fact that people are still being kept in captivity in the UK and forced to work – and there are still thought to be around 27 million slaves worldwide.

Andy Sturgeon, also practising in Brighton, has designed The Telegraph garden, which is inspired by the magnitude of geological events that have resulted in the landscape that we see today. His garden features dramatic bronze fins which represent an ancient mountain range.

Hailing from Broadstairs where he has a coastal garden, John Warland has designed The World Vision garden symbolising journeys of life. It is inspired by the lives of children around the world – and each floating wave of turf represents an individual life.

Look out too for Chilstone as well as Jacksons Fencing.

Visitors to the show will no doubt be delighted to see that Diarmuid Gavin is back with his distinctively different approach to design. This year it’s The Harrods Eccentric British garden which is an active, entertaining and playful space, inspired by kinetic sculpture, in which a short performance takes place every 15 minutes!

Words Caroline Knight
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