As you may have read over the last few weeks, I will be creating another garden for the RHS Show at Cardiff next weekend (19th-21st April), called The Green Room. I have built up a bit of a reputation for providing gardens and displays for the RHS Shows that the public can actually walk onto and be involved with. As beautiful and innovative as the Show Gardens are, I have personally always found it a bit frustrating not to be able to walk onto or through them, so for the last four years have created interactive spaces including the Really Fit Garden, a Bee Friendly Garden and the hugely popular mown Labyrinth last year. This year is no exception as visitors will be encouraged to step inside the Green Room to see how aspects and elements of Nature can be adapted to an indoor environment to promote well being and the improve the feel-good factor. There is extensive research to show that simply being amongst elements of nature lowers stress and heart rate as well as aiding creativity and mindfulness. I am fortunate to work – and play – in Nature but I appreciate that’s not the case for everyone so I want to share the wonders and benefits of the outdoor elements with people who have to be or work indoors too.
Meet the Team: As always I’m very grateful to the team of people who share my enthusiasm and vision and who have kindly contributed to The Green Room this year. Alan at Wood Direct http://wood-direct.co.uk/ based at The Dutch Garden Centre near Cardiff, didn’t hesitate to provide the all important timber garden building; the talented sculptor Ed Elliott http://www.edelliott.co.uk/home.html will be displaying his stunning and controversial carved wooden hooded figures amongst healthy and happy plants and shrubs provided by Caerphilly Garden Centre http://www.caerphillygardencentre.co.uk/. David ‘Goff’ Eveleigh http://www.goffee.co.uk/ will be screening his beautiful, hypnotic, state of the art video paintings; bespoke wooden furniture has been created by Dan at Hawkwood and Elm http://www.hawkwoodandelm.co.uk/; and thanks must also go to Tiger Turf http://www.tigerturfworld.com/eu/home/ and Bedec http://www.bedec.co.uk/ for their valuable and generous assistance too. I will also be filming with the innovative film director Massimo Salvato http://www.massimosalvato.com/ and asking visitors for their thoughts and experiences from the Showground as well as conducting several pre-arranged interviews with celebrities at The Green Room.
Talking dirty: I was also chuffed to be asked to give several talks at the Show this year; at 3pm on Friday I will talking and answering questions at the RHS stand as part of their theme to encourage people into a horticultural career. As my own ‘garden path’ has been quite unconventional – I achieved my RHS qualifications via a correspondence course whilst living in the Caribbean, for example and have been self employed since leaving school. I am looking forward to inspiring others to work in nature and horticulture too and exploring less conventional routes of doing so.
On Saturday at 11 am I will be talking in the Talks Theatre about Hir-earth, my own definition of people’s longing to return to Nature and the simple life. Ecopsychologists are now realising and recording the importance that simply being amongst elements of nature can have on our health and many of our biggest illnesses, from obesity to depression, can be helped by spending more time outdoors. Do come along to the talks, I like to make them as interactive as possible and will appreciate your input.
A big thank you: As with a lot of Shows, the people in the limelight get a lot of recognition but as a regular contributor and hands-on worker, it would be remiss of me not to give special thanks to the members of the Team at the Show who work behind the scenes and are often overlooked when it comes to giving gratitude. The security people, the car-parkers, the runners or go-fers, the people on the gates, caterer’s, everyone who helps with the build up and take down of the gardens and exhibits, and even the Health and Safety officers – you are all wonderful and we do appreciate you even if we are too stressed to remember to tell you.
Flower-bed and breakfast: Looking for the perfect place to stay for the Show? I can’t recommend Jolyon’s at No10 highly enough; not only does it back onto Bute Park so you can literally walk to the Show (or to the Hotel for dinner afterwards) but the breakfast room overlooks the Showground (so you can watch it all wake up). Jolyon is himself a keen gardener who has recently done a bee keeping course and has promised that anyone who stays or dines with them and has been or is going to the Show will get a special surprise treat! Find out more at http://jolyons10.com/
And finally: Not only is the RHS Show in Cardiff the opening Show for the gardening Show season, it is one of the most friendly and informal gardening shows, perfect for experienced gardeners and enthusiastic gardeners alike. Come along and say Hello.