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RHS Chelsea 2018 review

RHS Chelsea 2018 review


Well, what a week it has been! The Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show 2018 has drawn to a close, and we are once again proud to have been part of such a vibrant, forward-thinking and inspiring show. It has not only showcased the very best in horticulture and garden design, but once again proved that the UK is an imaginative leader in all things natural and creative.

We managed to catch a glimpse of the stunning show gardens which have been very deserving of their accolades this year. One of our favourites has to be the Welcome to Yorkshire show garden, designed by Mark Gregory. This captivating recreation of the Yorkshire landscape really did take us to the Yorkshire dales and inspire us to visit there very soon. After all, from our showsite in Staffordshire, it’s not too far for us to travel at all!

Our team had a very busy show this year, as we had fantastic fun showcasing our garden buildings transformed into six wonderful Artisan Retreats. These retreats were available to six chosen British artisans as a blank canvas with limited interior and exterior design, so that they could transform the space into something that reflected their craft and their story. And boy, they didn’t disappoint! From sleek and stylish hand-crafted nib-holders for professional calligraphers, to beautifully preserved dried flowers encased in glorious glass designs for beautiful jewellery pieces, each of our six retreats showcased a unique skill, a brilliant passion and a wonderful celebration of British design and creative flair.

Tom’s Studio: Tom had drafted in some of the most creative and original collaborators he works with to design his retreat. Sarah, owner of Floribunda Rose, is a talented florist working with British, seasonal, ethically sourced flowers. Tom works with her on many projects, but collaborated with her on his retreat to give it a beautiful, natural look. Nature inspires his pens, and so Sarah’s flowers reflected that. He also worked with local timber supplier Wildwood Table, who has designed and produced gorgeous tables and chandeliers for his studio using New Forest timber.

Lou Gardiner: Lou’s retreat was simply stunning. If her mission is to showcase that embroidery can be contemporary and stylish, then she certainly surpassed that! With a dark, elegant interior and sumptuous velvet furnishings, this sultry style really allowed her work to burst out and have a real impact. Using a mixture of light-reflecting fabrics, metallic threads, beading and beautiful designs, her retreat was an adventure of discovery into the wonderful world of Lou Gardiner.

Lizzy Chambers: The whole theme around Lizzy’s Artisan Retreat was “Re-telling the story”. From the water troughs sourced from local farms filled with fabulous flowers, to the showcase of drying methods used in her projects, you really began to appreciate the skill, dedication and time that goes into each and every piece. The workbench within the retreat took you through each step in the journey that all of Lizzy’s work goes through, and it’s this appreciation and understanding which lead you to admire her passion.

Galvin Brothers: The design of the Galvin Brothers artisan retreat was a simple translation of their shop/studio and workshop in Beverley, East Yorkshire. They wanted to create a simple evocation that gives insights into the way they work, how the design process translates into making handcrafted furniture. The whole theme for the retreat was “Sunshine indoors and out”, and it was certainly that!

Jo Elbourne: Jo’s artisan retreat for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show replicated elements of her Margate studio re-imagined as a garden retreat. Mirroring the work itself, she designed a space aiming to create a sense of balance and stillness. The simple geometry of her pieces is complemented by objects from collaborators and contemporaries, including wood-turner and furniture maker Will Elworthy and artist Karen Radford.

Tina Delicata: The Holt shed design for this retreat offered a true celebration of women and their roles within the Land Army. 23,000 women were recruited to work full-time on the land, to help replace men who had left to fight in the war. There were three sections in the Women’s Land Army: Agriculture, Forage and Timber Cutting, and the main aim was to increase food production during the war. Tina created a retreat to honour the thousands that joined and helped Britain survive the Great War

If you weren’t at the show enjoying the fantastic weather and even more fantastic displays, maybe you caught some of the brilliant BBC coverage throughout the week. You may even have caught a few Malvern Garden Buildings in the background of a few shots – we did!

We hope you enjoyed #RHSChelsea 2018 and we certainly hope you enjoyed our Artisan Retreats, housed in some of our favourite garden building designs.

To find out more about our retreats or to get your very own summerhouse from our collection, get in touch today! Whether you have a show garden or your own little garden retreat, a Malvern Garden Building is the perfect finishing touch!