Bures business ready in record time to build a garden at Chelsea

Company: Stewart Landscape Construction

A Bures based landscape construction business is ready in record time to build a show garden, for a charity that’s close to its heart, at the world’s most famous flower show – RHS Chelsea.

Stewart Landscape Construction, on the Essex Suffolk border, say they’ve less than seven months to prep for the 17 days they have to build a forensically perfect garden from scratch in central London.

“Usually, we have 11 months to turn a green field site, with tricky access and little room to manoeuvre, into a show stopping garden,” explains company director and founder Mark Richardson.

“Last year, for the first time ever Chelsea was held in September because of the pandemic. So, planning for the next show started much later, for everyone. That’s less time to have ready every single detail from pre-cut stone paths to a bespoke water feature and hundreds of plants, shrubs and trees,” he adds.

The garden is being built for a charity that is close to Mark’s heart - Perennial, who support people in horticulture through difficult times. Mark says he’s proud to be working in an incredible industry but it can be tough, and never more so than during the pandemic. He hopes the garden he is helping to build will raise awareness of the free help and support Perennial provides the industry.

It has been designed by Richard Miers, and Mark is working closely with him to turn it into a garden that the public and the RHS judges love. Mark says an important part of that are the dress rehearsals which give the team a chance to snag and practice constructing the garden.

“We arrive on site on Tuesday 3 May”, says Mark. “The first task will be to move mountains of earth, in a very confined space, to plant the mature trees that create the main garden structure. It’s a carefully choreographed operation ensuring every garden can finish on time and look it’s best by Friday 20 May. The weather can make things tricky – if we have to contend with torrential downpours or a heatwave.

Stewart Landscape Construction, a multi-award winning firm, has been based in Bures since 2009 employing 25 people. As well as private landscape projects, Mark has been constructing RHS gardens around the country since 1999. Mark says a highlight last year was to receive the RHS’s Best Construction Award (for a Show Garden) at Chelsea. And he hopes The Perennial Garden ‘With Love’ by Richard Miers will be a crowd pleaser at this year’s show.

Peter Newman, Perennial’s chief executive says: “this beautiful garden represents the very best of horticulture - art, craft, skill, collaboration and love are all present in abundance. We are very excited about how powerfully it will reach those who need our help. Or would like to support us in our purpose of building better futures for people in horticulture and their families. A show garden at the world’s greatest flower show, is a unique way for Perennial to reach an audience that understands the importance of horticulture and those who work in the industry.

A virtual walk around the garden can be found here https://perennial.org.uk/home/gardens/the-perennial-garden-rhs-chelsea-2022/

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