In the Loop: Charlie at Chelsea

Landscape Designer Charlie Albone together with Mick Conway from Conway Landscaping are representing Austraia at the Chelsea Flower Show. We check in with the team to catch up with their progress…

Day 18 of the build at Chelsea and I have to say, the garden is incredible. With only a few days left before judging, I am in awe of the planting, the stone and the incredible workmanship that is already evident, even before the garden is complete.

Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 11.17.19 amIt seems the progress of the build has been seamless, thanks to exemplary planning, execution, and thankfully, good weather. The only day of rain did however test their strength after a solid two weeks of being on site.

Last Thursday was mentally exhausting, it was our toughest day. The shear cold and constant drizzle tested us but we dealt with it and soldiered on.

Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 11.17.39 amThe majority of planting has been completed with only a few areas to finesse and the floor within the fire pit area has been laid. The garden is literally brimming with plant life after the placement of thousands upon thousands of plants. A stunning selection of species, all chosen for their varying degrees of texture, contrast and colour. Some of the standout specimens include a 45 year old Ficus and 5 metre tall Japanese Zelkova.

Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 11.18.36 amMick claims “The quality of stock is superb. Our suppliers have produce plants of impeccable quality, the best we have ever seen.” The growers are under just as much pressure as the team, if not more. The foresight and skill in being able to deliver specific flowering plants to not just one, but many show garden’s is an incredible feat.

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So what is left to do? “Clean, clean, clean and add the odd plant between the pavers. Amend any and all of the smallest details.” And with the finish line now in clear view, the crew have a renew energy, pushing to finish the final detail and produce a garden that is simply faultless.

Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 11.18.25 amSeeing his garden come to life before him, Charlie describes the garden as…

Intimate, emotional, beautiful and very personal.

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Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 11.27.27 amWith the opening of the show only days away, Mick believes “it will be a very prestigious year, full of class and stiff competition.” And not one to snub the competition, Mick has been admiring designer Adam Frost show garden ‘The Homebase Garden – Urban Retreat’.

It has rich landscaping, an intriguing design, a touch of old versus new, formal versus informal in the planting scheme and it looks like time is on their side to polish and detail the garden to Chelsea standards.

So when do we hear the results?? All will be revealed this Tuesday…