Teacup Garden Update Blog


Touch Landscapes’ principle designer Georgina Chahed gives a progress report on The Teacup Garden…

Back in February I submitted a master plan, provisional planting plan and 3D drawings to apply for a show garden at BBC Gardeners’ World Live. The Royal Horticultural Society promptly gave the design the green light and I set to work, planning the project.

As a first time show garden exhibitor, I had some sleepless nights early on; what if the plants arrive looking like hell or get ravaged by the wind and rain? Other burning issues along the way included: getting the levels right on the sloped bank where the garden will be situated; selecting the right materials for the stone circle; and crucially, how to make sure the plants flower during show week.

Although I can’t control the weather or anticipate every eventuality, it has been possible to troubleshoot many of the worst-case scenarios and come up with solutions in advance. The good news is that now, six weeks until the show, most of the groundwork has been done and the garden is really starting to take shape. Ninety-five per cent of the plants have been ordered, as has the bespoke cut sandstone and teacup water feature.

Preparation is everything
Following consultation with local landscapers, we have finalised the construction of the stone circle. I’m also proud to reveal that Stonemarket, one of the leading stone paving suppliers in the UK, has generously donated the sandstone for our ‘saucer’.

Although The Teacup Garden capitalises on the rich mix of foliage shapes and textures present in a tropical environment, plants with floral interest will also be included. I have therefore researched back up options, in the event that our blooms don’t deliver on the day.

A problem shared
Having a regular and open dialogue with your nurseries really pays dividends at this stage. Without having healthy plants that perform, you basically don’t have a show garden! We are looking forward to seeing our plants in the poly tunnel at our main nursery next week. I will prepare a mock up of the design by placing the palm, shrubs and perennials together in their pots at the nursery.

With the show rosta almost full, we now have almost enough helpers to see us through the show. Our volunteers are raring to go and have started familiarising themselves with the plant list already.

They share my vision for The Teacup Garden – a soothing reflective pool engulfed by luxuriant architectural foliage. I want to inspire visitors to inject an exotic holiday feeling into their own gardens at home. Tropical plants are very often fast growing, providing an instant effect at a relatively low cost and compared to regular garden favourites, many exotics require little or no primping and pruning. Contrary to what many people believe, not all tropical plants are tender. Yes, tender varieties need winter protection or to go under glass in winter but I think people will be surprised by how low maintenance a tropical garden can be.

BBC Gardeners’ World Live is taking place at the National Exhibition Centre from 11-14 June 2015. Click here to read our show press release.

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April 30, 2015

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