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We're really not good at Blogging!

June 22, 2017 Matthew Wood

We're fantastically bad at this blogging thing, having not posted one since April 2016! However, here is our latest news update. 

RHS Chatsworth Flower Show 2017

Ever since he heard about the new RHS Flower Show at Chatsworth House in February 2016, Matt has had it in the back of his mind constantly! With the brief that they wanted unusual exhibits, exhibits that have height, quirky exhibits, some of the most strange and bizarre ideas have flown through Matt's mind! Floating plants suspended from a steel girder frame with potted plants up the legs and plants slowly rotating sounds weird and wonderful... but can you imagine the mountain of Health and Safety forms and the logistical nightmare that would ensue! 
The RHS Chatsworth show strongly celebrates what has been, and is at, Chatsworth house, with a giant inflatable "Great Conservatory" representing the historic glasshouse and a theme of "Design Revolutionaries" running throughout the show to celebrate Joseph Paxton and Capability Brown, who both contributed to making Chatsworth what it is now. So we have 'What was', we have 'What is'... what about 'What could have been'? 
Matt's mind eventually settled on "Formal tiered gardens, imagined in front of Chatsworth House", the idea was born, the next step was to make it happen!

Initial design idea. The actual original is barely legible scratch marks on a scrap of paper. This is the plan we submitted to The RHS.

Matt's plan required a very large (15ft x 5ft) picture of Chatsworth house for it to work. After many hours of googling and talking to a photographer friend about commissioning one, we had a breakthrough! On the off chance we cheekily emailed Chatsworth House to ask if they had a photo we could use, after all it's their home and who hasn't got a photo of their house. And the wonderful people in the Chatsworth Archives did not disappoint! A beautiful picture of the house, perfect for what we wanted!

 

What a beaut!

The material for the 'Walls' of the tiered gardens and the steps was another tricky one, after several failed attempts at locating the stone effect we wanted, including one that thought we wanted enough of it to warrant re configuring the entire factory, we found it! Courtesy of Ryan at www.lite-stone.co.uk we had our beautiful walling. 

Fast foward to the show! Matt and Sally arrived with plenty of time to set up, scared, lost and bewildered! Luckily they were met by two of the most wonderful and helpful members of the RHS shows team, Helen Boem and Robin Selby. Who helped them find our spot and adjust the staging we had ordered to make it right (Matt forgot 1 crucial measurement). 

The Staging when we arrived! No room for the banner! :O

Lovely empty marquee.

After the staging had been adjusted (Massive thank you to Jenny Jenner the Show Manager for allowing us to have a higher than standard backdrop!) it was time to raise the banner! And it really did look good! Our fantastically detailed and clean, crisp banner was supplied by our friends at www.southcheshireprint.com. 

The stone tiers go on. 

Many hours of fiddling, plants on, plants off, plants shifted slightly to the left, slightly to the right, followed until we were finally finished. The last morning of tidying and titivating the plants before judging didn't quite go to plan though. The showground was evacuated due to strong winds forecast that afternoon! Press and preview day was cancelled. 

However, even after all of that we won a lovely silver medal! The judges loved the concept and quality of the display! We just needed more mature tiny plants.

Susi and Lottie came to the show for the whole show week! Lottie stole the limelight with her brilliant smiles for everyone!

Partners in crime! Matt and Sally with their medal. 

After a wonderful (and wet, so very wet) week, meeting hundreds of the most lovely people and selling plenty of our little plants the final horn sounded on the first RHS Chatsworth Flower Show. Sell off and breakdown began. Last thing to come down was the banner, a sad moment to see (if anyone want's a 15ft picture of Chatsworth house I know a man who has one for sale). 

It was an amazing experience being at the show and showing our tiny plants, in a display that we designed. It was tiring, painful (Matt may have developed Gout), but also exciting, interesting, happy, joyful and we would do it all again in an instant. 

Will we go back to Chatsworth next year... Never say never. 

Next step is our local. RHS Tatton! Come and find us at one of the most enjoyable flower shows of the year! The great garden party at Tatton Park. 

Lottie loved Leila from T3 plants' Helter Skelter! 




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