Sally Brownbill

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12/7/2013

Patrick Redmond - Chelsea Flower Show

– posted by Rachelle

Having covered The Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show for the last eight years and after receiving a commission, I was itching to head over to the UK to see how the Brits put on a show. With months of planning under my belt, 24 hours in the air and a 4.30 am start, my trusty assistant  and I were at the show for the official press day of the 2013 Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show.
As predicted The UK  greeted us in its usually chilly fashion with the thermometer hovering  around 8 degrees, no sun, just completely grey and overcast despite being almost summer.

Chelsea is the highlight on the Spring social calendar so as well as dozens of photographers jockeying for the best vantage of the show gardens there were also large media scrums hoping to gain their share of celebrity pics.
By 3pm the whole show was closed down to allow members of the royal family and select A listers to peruse the show at their leisure. Next day up again at 4.30 am to head back and pick up where we left off only this day was the first day open to the general public and by 9 am the crowds were so thick that we could barely move let alone shoot, so it was time to pack up and try again tomorrow.

Aside from the normal challenges of working out of a suit case, jet lag and really bad coffee, what a fortuitous time to be there. After 9 years, the Australians under the helm of Flemmings Nurseries finally won the prestigious Best In Show. This does not mean the Aussies did not make a good account of themselves in the past but Best In Show is the equivalent to an Oscar or Grammy in the gardening world.

The garden featured a lush gorge with huge boulders, a natural Billabong using recycled water and a native wildflower meadow. It also featured a three meter high cubed home studio inspired by a Waratah flower.
At a cost of over 2 million dollars, constructed by seventeen volunteers labouring for three weeks and 38 tons of materials sourced from all over Britain, The Trailfinders Australian Garden, presented by Flemmings and designed by Phillip Johnson was a well deserved win.

Patrick Redmond

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