The latest on the Green Scene with Lynne Allbutt
Visitors to the RHS Flower Show in Cardiff can find at least one garden they can actually walk onto and be involved with
As you may have read over the past few weeks, I will be creating another garden for the RHS Flower Show in Cardiff next weekend called The Green Room.
I have built up a bit of a reputation for providing gardens and displays for RHS shows that the public can actually walk onto and be involved with.
As beautiful and innovative as the show gardens are, I have always found it a bit frustrating not to be able to walk onto or through them. So for the last four years I’ve created interactive spaces including the Really Fit Garden, a Bee Friendly Garden and the hugely popular 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 wellbeing and improve the feel-good factor.
There is extensive research to show that simply being among 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 work indoors too.
I was also chuffed to be asked to give several talks at the show this year.
At 3pm this coming Friday I will be 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 while living in the Caribbean – I have been self-employed since leaving school.
So I’m looking forward to inspiring others to work in nature and horticulture. and exploring less conventional routes of doing so.
On Saturday at 11am 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.
Eco-psychologists are now realising the importance that being among elements of nature can have on our health and how many of our biggest illnesses from obesity to depressioncan 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.
In a nutshell
Not only is the RHS Flower Show in Cardiff the opening show for the gardening show season, it is one of the most friendly and informal gardening shows.
It’s perfect for experienced gardeners and enthusiastic gardeners alike.
So come along and say hello.
Careers and bees
The RHS Flower Show in Cardiff is at the end of National Gardening Week and the RHS is focusing on two main themes this year – careers in horticulture and wild flowers – and I have to admit being a bit of an ambassador for both.
I can’t think of a more suitable career choice for myself, even though it has been an unconventional path – and even when I do get a little demoralised after long cold winters, my brother takes great delight in reminding me that I am now completely unemployable anyway!
And of course I am a huge advocate of wild flowers for the pollinators.
I am often asked why I keep bees if I don’t harvest the honey (I take a little but not very much) and it is largely because I just love having them around. But of course they also pollinate the garden and veg patch which most people don’t think about.
It’s funny that the RHS should be promoting bees and careers together because in my experience bees are among the hardest workers I have ever met.
I was talking to fellow garden designer Anthea Guthrie last week about the difficulties of getting plants into bloom in time for the early show in Cardiff – we both agreed that this year we’ll be lucky if anything is in leaf, let alone bloom!
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, caterers, 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 in Cardiff 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.
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 www.jolyons10.com
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 ( wood-direct.co.uk ) based at the Dutch Garden Centre near Cardiff, didn’t hesitate to provide the all important timber garden building.
Talented sculptor Ed Elliott ( www.edelliott.co.uk ) will be displaying his stunning and controversial carved wooden hooded figures among healthy and happy plants and shrubs provided by Caerphilly Garden Centre ( www.caerphillygardencentre.co.uk ).
David “Goff” Eveleigh ( www.goffee.co.uk ) will be screening his beautiful, hypnotic, state of the art work.
Bespoke wooden furniture has been created by Dan at Hawkwood and Elm (www.hawkwoodandelm.co.uk ) and thanks must also go to Tiger Turf (www.tigerturfworld.com ) and Bedec ( www.bedec.co.uk ) for their valuable and generous assistance too.
I will also be filming with the innovative film director Massimo Salvato (www.massimosalvato.com ) and asking visitors for their thoughts and experiences from the showground as well as conducting several pre-arranged interviews with celebrities in The Green Room.