Gardening has been my passion since the age of 5 when my dad built a wooden box filled with soil for me, and my mum gifted me some freesia bulbs to plant.
Seeing those bulbs bloom and thrive ignited my love for gardening, and I’ve been hooked ever since. With years of experience and a deep-rooted passion for all things green, I’ve honed my skills as a gardener and am excited to share my expertise with others.
For more than 35 years, I’ve been running my own garden maintenance business, and together with my husband Jonathan, we have achieved remarkable success in the gardening industry. Our accomplishments include four gold medals at the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show and three BBC/RHS People’s Choice Awards.
I’ve exhibited at seven Chelsea Flower Shows in total as well as a garden at Hampton Court and Tatton Park, all of which are world-renowned garden shows.
As a professional gardener, one of the greatest pleasures is partnering with exceptional gardening brands like Webb Garden Power. I currently offer monthly gardening advice via their website, which has been a wonderful opportunity to connect with other gardening enthusiasts and share my knowledge and expertise.
Who attends the Chelsea Flower Show?
The Chelsea Flower Show is a truly global destination event, attended by royalty, famous celebrities, and members of the public from across the globe.
I once had a group of ladies visit my garden every day throughout the show who’d all travelled from Australia, and I’ve met people from dozens of different countries for whom Chelsea is a must-go-to event. When you’re at the show it’s so amazing to hear people speaking so many different languages, to see people dressed in so many ways, it’s an amazing melting pot of humanity all passionate about plants and gardens.
Celebrating Diversity at the Chelsea Flower Show
Another glorious feature of Chelsea is that the origin of the plants and gardens are as diverse as the people who visit, I’ve seen gardens from Australia, Italy, South Africa, Korea, Japan, and Barbados to name just a few. These gardens are created using the natural flora as well as introduced plants from the respective countries and can highlight things such as plants that are rare, edible, and used for clothing, medicine, furniture production and even construction such as bamboo for example.
Plants are lovingly nurtured, lifted, grown, and transported across the planet to create genuine gardens with native species and habitats and although this may seem excessive, you must remember that the impact of one of these gardens winning a gold medal could possibly mean the difference between survival or extinction for certain plant species.
Chelsea really strives to show us different types of gardens, gardening techniques, garden designs and garden plants from around the planet and sometimes they can be the opposite of what some people may find desirable in a British garden.
One example is many people in the UK spend a great deal of time and trouble trying to remove moss from their grass whereas in Japan some gardeners will painstakingly remove the smallest blade of grass from their moss.
This is why Chelsea is a destination event because it strives to use different destinations to create the event, it’s a panoramic view of gardening styles, cultures, and ideas.
Why is the Chelsea Flower Show so important?
With the challenges our planet faces today Chelsea has become more important than ever. The exhibited plants come with explanations about the challenges they are facing across the globe mainly due to our influence. Some are so rare that they are microchipped and have bodyguards.
Some plants exhibited there were once thought to be extinct but have now been saved and propagated many thousands of times to ensure their future existence.
Insider Tips: 3 Essential Lessons Every Gardener Can Learn from the Chelsea Flower Show
If I was asked the three most important and useful points, I have learnt from Chelsea Flower Show that gardeners from across the world can benefit from then they would be:
1. Never underestimate the importance of plants on our own health and existence
2. There aren’t plants and weeds there are only plants.
3. Never think about plants in a fashion sense, plants should never be fashionable they should all be equally revered at all times.
The Chelsea Flower Show is one of my favourite events of the year!