Seen at The Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden - Chinese proverb

Saturday, 28 May 2011

The Chelsea Garden Made By Bloggers


Two years ago I returned from my first visit to Chelsea with the romantic notion it would be rather wonderful to have a show garden designed and built by bloggers. James soon brought me back down to earth again, so I'm rather pleased to see this year that it's pretty much happened in the shape of the British Heart Foundation's garden, which was commissioned to raise awareness of their Mending Broken Hearts campaign.

It's designed by Ann-Marie Powell (though her blog can be a tad intermittent!), aided and abetted during the planting stage by Helen, Rob, Simon, Owen and Laetitia. I think they and the rest of the team did a fantastic job.

I wasn't sure about the red structures when I first saw the drawing, but in reality it works really well, particularly when viewed from the pictured angle as some of them look heart shaped as well as forming a heartstring motif throughout the garden. I also believe Anne-Marie was wise in choosing a lush green planting palette with just the odd splash of colour here and there as any other approach would have got lost. She's done her research well and selected plants associated with treating heart disorders, such as the foxgloves seen to the right of (and echoing) the seating.

Tim Richardson* has made a fantastic short film which gives an insight into Ann-Marie's Chelsea build, as does her guest blog for the BBC. Helen has given an account of her experiences in The Guardian Gardening blog and when I asked Rob about his, he said: I think this has been one of the best weeks of my life. Awwwww :)

* = no, not the one who writes for The Telegraph - I met him later and he was bemoaning the fact he'd been mistaken at Chelsea for the one who'd made the film ;)

6 comments:

  1. I would second Rob's comment - it was an amazing experience However I wouldn't say the bloggers built the garden its all down to Anne-Marie we were just her willing slaves!

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  2. PG - but AMP blogs too, so it's a bloggers' garden :)

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  3. Have enjoyed all your Chelsea posts VP - you certainly convey the magic and excitement of it all. Sorry that you were not able to rise up in Diarmuid's 'Wonkavator'. Was initially not sure about Anne- Marie's garden but it grew on me. The structure conveys the impression of a living organism. Would have like to have seen it in the flesh as it were.

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  4. Anna - so glad you've enjoyed them. It was great to meet up with blogging friends there too :)

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  5. i would second patientgardeners comment and thrid robs! what a cracking experience it was.

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  6. Hi Danny - welcome! Glad to 'meet' one of the others who was involved with this garden :)

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