It’s showtime at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show

by Bethany Day on May 22, 2011

Wow! What a difference a day makes at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Walking into the Great Pavilion this morning it was obvious that everyone had been working late into the night, desperate to get their design exhibits ready for Monday, the opening day of the show.

Working hard to ensure our own exhibit is finished in time for the world’s media are David Denyer, creator of ‘A Sense of Perspective’ and last year’s RHS Chelsea Gold Medalist, David Ragg.

The two Davids arrived at the showground first thing on Friday morning. They began work by soaking strips of Oasis floral foam in water. Once soaked, each strip was then wrapped in clingfilm to avoid water loss and dehydration
and then carefully laid into each doorway.

At nine o’clock David Denyer took the call from our sponsor Landgard, to say that the flower delivery was onsite and ready to be unloaded. It was the moment they had been waiting for. Hundreds of stems of different flower varieties were laid out before them, all of them in the most vibrant and breath-taking colours. Once every box had been unloaded the flowers were sorted into groups of colour, ready to use. Now the fun and hard work would really begin.

I watched as David Denyer tentatively placed the very first flower into one of the nine doorways. This would be the hardest part- after all where do you start with so many flowers to choose from? Once the first flower head was in, the rest came more easily. Using exotic shampoo ginger for interest and orange Vanda orchids for their exquiste beauty, along with more classic varieties of roses and carnations, the first doorway was soon transformed into a symphony of peach. With David Denyer working on one side of the frame and David Ragg on the other, the first doorway was completed within three hours.

It was great being there to see David Denyer and David Ragg at work, hearing their creative thought processes and watching them bring ‘A Sense of Perspective’ to life. They work so well together and joked about their seemingly pyschic connection.

As they progressed from one doorway to another and then another, passers by stopped to admire their workmanship. I for one was taken aback as to how stunning a row of red carnations could look. A beautiful, luxurious blanket of colour. There’s so much detail in this design, it’s almost impossible to appreciate the beauty of each individual flower.

By 8pm on Saturday 5 of the nine doorways were complete, there’s still more to do before the finishing touches can be added. It looks like today will be a long but rewarding one. I can’t wait to see what the judges think of it tomorrow!

UPDATE: It’s Monday morning and the exhibit is finished!

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Bethany Day

Blogger and online PR guru for Interflora UK. Interested in guest-posting on our blog? Email or connect with me.

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