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17th May 2018 / posted by Gemma Goode

At RHS Chelsea Flower Show, with Oakwrights Sara Edwards

Following on from Sara's first blog about her studies at the Pickard School of Garden Design, she has had the fantastic opportunity to assist her tutor, the gold medal winning garden designer Kate Savill, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018. Here is Sara’s exciting behind-the-scenes story in her own words…





“This year Kate Savill has designed The Warner Edwards Garden  with Tamara Bridge for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018. The garden was inspired by the terraced gardens of the Warner Edwards Distillery and aims to capture the natural and unconventional spirit of the English countryside whilst also using many of the natural flavours used in the creation of the gin.


 (Sara with Kate Savill and Tamara Bridge)


This week, I was lucky enough to go along and help Kate and Tamara with their garden build. It was a fantastic experience being part of the build-up for the show and being able to watch the show gardens and stands emerging from the ground.  The RHS Chelsea Flower Show would not happen without the herculean efforts of the designers, landscapers and volunteers who get three weeks to work their magic in the grounds of the Royal Hospital.


Everyone I met was so lovely and friendly and the whole site had a great atmosphere because it was full of people doing what they loved and happy to share their experience of the Chelsea Flower Show with you. It was inspirational meeting the other designers and landscapers, all of whom are at the very pinnacle of their fields. Having worked in other major events it was very noticeable how relaxed everyone was; gardening even at the highest level can still be calming.


The neighbouring garden was created by Japan’s Kazuyuki Ishihara, a multi-award-winning garden designer of international acclaim. His garden design is based around a traditional type of flower arranging called ‘Ikenobo’ and it was mesmerising watching it take shape, with each little ball of moss being given due care and attention to look perfect for the competition.




 (Kazuyuki Ishihara overseeing his garden build)


Seeing the exacting detail and quality required to produce these show gardens in such a small window of time and networking with such a wide range of professionals was such an incredible opportunity and the experience will be invaluable for the future; it’s made me determined to design a Chelsea garden myself one day.


I am returning for a private tour with Pickard on Saturday and I will get to see the near completed gardens on Judging Assessment day, with the actual judging taking place on Sunday. Below is a picture of the garden at sunset on my first day."





Sara with Nic Howard in The David Harber and Savills Garden:










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