What is your favourite part about planning the Chelsea 2023 stand?
One of my favourite parts of the show planning is seeing the evolving ideas and shapes of the hard standing design we use as the backdrop to showcase our beautiful roses. The contour and colour of the stand feeds into how the roses will be displayed. This years’ was a take on David Austin Jnr’s private garden, a circular shape with a curved wall hugging the edge. The crossed paths through the middle, made way for four big and bountiful rose beds.
Pictured above: Becki at the Chelsea Flower Show 2023
How many roses made up this year's Chelsea stand?
There was a whopping 824 rambling, climbing and shrub roses with around 85 meters of hedging in these year’s stand. They are nurtured all year round; 9 months of maintenance by our garden team and three months special care to ensure the roses are perfectly bloomed for the show. It’s a labour of love!
Are there challenges with growing the roses for the show?
Well-oiled processes needing to be followed rather than challenges, but with mother nature at the helm, there are always a few curveballs we find a way to overcome. In the three months running up to the show, the temperature and light on the roses must be controlled and adjusted daily, even hourly as the show deadline looms to ensure that the 69 varieties of rose, of different genetic heritage and environmental preferences, are in peak bloom in the same week.
What is your favourite show rose and why?
My favourite rose from the show this year was Princess Alexandra of Kent® for the huge, scented blooms – it’s always a standout for me.
Pictured above: Princess Alexandra of Kent®(Ausmerchant)
How do you keep the roses looking world-class during the show?
Luckily, roses are incredibly resilient plants. We do take care handling the roses to avoid any unnecessary breakages, we keep them well watered, and we ensure we’re on top of the deadheading. This way they stay happy for their big reveal as the doors to the show open.
How does it feel to have been awarded a 27th gold medal?
Fantastic! Whilst it’s a role that takes time and care to get things just so, it’s brilliant to be awarded with a Gold as a result.
The new 2023 rose - Dannahue® was released at Chelsea Flower Show, what is your favourite thing about this rose?
The Dannahue® rose is beautiful, I really like its soft apricot colour and the gentle cupped shape of the blooms. It was a pleasure to meet Danny Clarke, the roses namesake, in the run up to the show at our gardens in Shropshire and I really like the charitable aspect of the rose too.
Pictured above: Danny Clarke with our new for 2023 rose Dannahue®(Ausa6b15)
What happens to the roses after Chelsea Flower Show?
They return to site into temporary quarantine, then, they are cut back and returned into the stock area for watering and feed.