RHS Showtime (from the Western Mail 20th April)

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

Lynne-Allbutt-2596919

My week

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.

Green talk

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 is promoting bees and careers
The RHS is promoting bees and careers

 

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.

Bloomin’ heck

 

Garden designer Anthea Guthrie
Garden designer Anthea Guthrie

 

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.

 

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