The Chelsea Flower Show opens tomorrow! To celebrate, we spoke to landscape architect Bunny Guinness, who is exhibiting her 9th show garden at Chelsea this year. The M&G Garden is a modern take on a traditional kitchen garden. We spoke to Bunny as she made her final preparations for the show:
Tell us a bit about the garden you’re creating at Chelsea Flower Show this year?
It’s basically a vegetable and herb garden. The most modern element is a large flat glass platform which covers the seating area. It weighs three tonnes!
This is your 9th year at Chelsea Flower Show. What’s so special about it that keeps you coming back?
I’m a glutton for punishment! It is hard work and difficult because you get the same rectangular space every time. But it’s fun because you create a garden in two weeks that would usually take 10 years. I think the team like it too – it’s buzzy.
The show sells out every year, why do you think people love it so much?
It’s all the razzmatazz – people come for the show gardens really. All the gardens are extreme and different. It’s so inspirational and exciting. Also because it’s small, you can’t fit that many people in and that contributes to the atmosphere. It’s a stunning show.
Do you have any tips for people visiting Chelsea Flower Show for the first time?
When you look at a garden don’t just think “wow”, try to analyse why you like it and take some tips home. It’s all about scale this year – big is beautiful. It’s fun to play around with scale.
Are there any gardens at the show that you’re particularly looking forward to seeing this year?
All of them because you walk past them twice a day and they are constantly changing. The Sheffield University guys are doing a good job. The Telegraph garden also looks good. There are lots of foreign gardeners here which is great because the show attracts a mass audience and if you show here you can get into media all over the world.
What are the final preparations you’ll be making now?
The very last thing is to wheel out the tulips which have been kept in a refridgerated store. They’ll pepper the garden with colour and add a bit of zing. Hopefully if it’s not too hot, they’ll last all week.
What’s your favourite garden in London?
I’m looking forward to seeing the planting in the perennial meadows at the Olympic Park – it’s some great planting work which will have some great colour.
RHS Chelsea Flower Show, Royal Hospital Chelsea, 24-28 May 2011