Chelsea Flower Show Inspirations

I love the Chelsea Flower Show. I’ve been going most years since about 2006 and have always been inspired by the colour and planting combinations, the design of the stands and of course, the beautiful (and sometimes conceptually challenging) show gardens. And this year when I trooped off in search of inspiration there was something a little more personal that made Chelsea extra special for Flourish.

Several of our clients were debuting there and that made it really exciting! And I couldn’t let these successes pass without just a little mention on the Flourish blog.

Lisa Cox and English Garden Joinery

I was lucky enough to be invited to Chelsea this year as a guest by Garden Designer Lisa Cox who designed the stand for the English Garden Joinery company. These pictures really don’t do the stand justice. It was stunning, so much so that they were awarded a Certificate of Merit for Outstanding Presentation of their Stand. Pretty impressive for a first year at Chelsea? And I think that this accolade just goes to show the strength of Lisa’s design as well as the meticulous and beautiful execution by English Garden Joinery. When we finally move on to implementing our new garden design I’ll certainly be talking to English Garden Joinery, their work is beautiful.

I love working with Lisa Cox because she makes things happen. I hardly remember or recognise that person I started working with a couple of years ago on her brand direction. I look at her now, certificate in hand and beaming smile on her face and see a woman who is confident in who she is and incredibly successful at what she does. With a string of gorgeous garden designs under her belt, some high profile columns and a blog and website that are really working for her, Lisa’s business is going from strength to strength. I’m very proud to call her my friend.

I’m so excited to discover what the future holds for her business, and I hope it won’t be too long before I’m blogging about her first show garden! You can see the full story behind the stand on Lisa’s blog (as well as a very cool time lapse video of the building of Lisa’s front garden).


Last October Rona sold her virtual assistant business and followed her floral passion to become a full time blogger with her blog Flowerona. This year, instead of traipsing round as a punter, Rona returned as a pro. Getting in to press day is no mean feat, and I think that the fact that she was invited just goes to show the popularity of her gorgeous blog and her tenacity as a business owner. Isn’t that inspirational? To see someone with a very clear (and frankly, ambitious) set of goals who actually achieves them?

Everything Rona does she does well, and it was inspiring to watch her with industry professionals, clearly revelling in the floral overload but also incredibly focused on getting her material not just for her own blog, but for her columns for Laura Ashley, Interflora and a number of magazines to name but a few.

I still miss Rona as my PA. She was incredibly efficient, accurate and fun to work with. And she has become a great friend. But when I look at what she’s achieved in such an incredibly short space of time it’s utterly inspirational. She really knows her stuff, her blog is bursting with ideas and her photography is stunning. You can find her coverage of Chelsea on the Flowerona blog.

And the show…

It was great to walk round the artisan gardens with Jo Love, to meet the lovely Jo Thompson who designed the caravan garden and to catch up with Gilly Pollock of the British Plant Nursery Guide. Gilly has attended a couple of my workshops in our Guildford studio and it was great to catch up with her again. Incidentally Gilly also picked up a Certificate of Merit for their beautiful stand – I think that says something very positive about the calibre of Flourish clients don’t you?!

Jane Wadham Flowers, freshly rebranded, didn’t have a stand at the show, but they did supply some of the flowers for the stands and were also spotted at Daphnes on Tuesday with photographer Clive Nichols (see Rona’s post for more details). All that was missing was Griffin Glasshouses, but I think you’ll see them at Hampton Court…

Images: Lisa Cox, Rona Wheeldon for Flowerona, Portrait of Rona, Vicki Knights

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