Chelsea Flower Show

My inspiration for this abstract garden design ‘The Greening of Gateshead’s industrial heritage’ came from another of my projects, the reclamation of Watergate Colliery. I designed the carpet bedding spheres to symbolise the elements, now free of contamination.

The collaboration with the local authority nursery, which was located at the edge of Watergate Colliery, brought with it invaluable resources and expertise.

Our biggest challenge was to create a structure for the planting. This consisted of two main parts: the staging and the metal spheres, all of which need to be transported to London. The spheres required a system of mesh to allow compost and moss to be inserted between an external wire mesh which also formed the planting holes, and a finer mesh to retain the growing media. We used a diverse selection of plants with varying textures and colours to represent each of the elements.

Due to the challenging weather conditions in the months leading up to the event, the flowers on the water and air spheres were not in full bloom for the Chelsea Flower Show, which made the award of a silver medal even more gratifying.

However, they were in full flower for the Gateshead Summer Flower Show and we were able to showcase the design as intended.

The Chelsea Flower SHow 1996

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