Published: 14:13, 23 April 2010 |
Updated: 09:43, 10 January 2014
A Kent man has been chosen to design the main sponsor's show garden at the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show.
With one month to go, KM garden writerfound Roger Platts' nursery is a hive of activity.
The Wealden sandstone pond edging had just arrived from the quarry.
Roger Platts rips open the plastic wrapping like it's Christmas to reveal curved slabs of still-damp biscuit-coloured stone, twinkling with specks of black and silver.
"Well, that's beautiful. Fabulous. It will look even better with the alchemilla just softening the edges," he declared, delighted with his rather extravagant order.
"This is really quality stone. We wouldn't normally be able to use it, but as this is a Chelsea garden I could justify it. Old reclaimed stone cut into a contemporary style - very exciting."
Quality is the by-word for the Celebration of the Traditional show garden Roger will create at RHS Chelsea this year.
His trademark natural planting schemes made him the front runner to design and build the main sponsor's garden in the main avenue.
M&G Investments is a global company and is sponsoring the garden to highlight its ethos of "nurturing expertise" while upholding the traditions and values of M&G and the RHS. The quintessentially English show garden will take prime position on Main Avenue (plot MA18).
Roger has been gardening most of his life. He won gold at Chelsea in 2002 and returned to the Great Pavilion last year to receive silver-gilt for his floral exhibit.
This year he will need 4,000-5,000 plants to choose from for his show garden. From those he will probably select 2,000-3,000.
Of these, 80 per cent will be grown at his Edenbridge nursery. "I live on site, so I can keep an eye on the plants all the time," he said.
"When you order in plants that can be stressful - because once they arrive, that's it. By growing so many here I have more control and can watch the plants evolve and keep a constant eye on their growth."
With one month to go, Roger is at full tilt - inspecting and moving plants from greenhouse to greenhouse to either bring them on, slow them down or simply hold their growth; the electricians are in to finalise their work and achieve a safety certificate; the hard landscaping and tanks are laid out in the car park; the phone never stops ringing; deliveries arrive; the BBC needs its daily diary update and yet Roger remains calm, relatively unrushed and totally focused.
So the Celebration of the Traditional show garden plan is laid out - but it is not all cast in stone. It will be interesting to see what makes it into the final scheme and what other surprises Roger may pull.
Only the highest quality planting will achieve the RHS Chelsea Gold medal and by the look of what's growing at Platts Nursery it must be worth a bet.
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.
Your No1 guide to getting married in Kent. From dresses to discos and venues to veils, we've got everything you could possibly need for your big day
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating!
PLUS, register for free!.
Read our pick of the best holiday destinations. Whether its a weekend break, or something a little bit longer, we have reviewed a wide range of holidays.