Category Archives: RHS Flower shows

More lovely plant pictures from Philip Simmonds

Philip has just sent a few more photos from his Chelsea garden:

Below is the wonderful Ligusticum lucidum – a feathery fennel like leaf shape, with Hosta ‘fire and ice’ behind and the lovely grass Luzula nivaea on the right

Below is a similar combination, this time with the delightful Verbascum ‘Merlin’ the dusky pink central plant with Hosta ‘fire and ice’ behind. The taller red stems of the Angelica Archangelica are visible in the background and the floaty white flower of Luzula nivaea again. The Hosta to the front right is Hosta Devon Green, and the slim floaty grass is Festuca amethystina.

Below, against the wonderful colour of Philips’ stunning piece, is Veronica gentianoides on the left, with Luzula nivaea on the right. You can also see a close up of the wonderful sawn stone which tones so beautifully with the ceramics.

Below you can see the tall shapes of the elegant Angelica archangelica, underplanted with Hosta Devon Green, Luzula and Iris sibirica

Inverewe garden visit

I visited earlier this week the fabulous gardens at Inverewe on the west coast of Scotland. This gem of a garden, now owned by the National Trust for Scotland, is a true delight. Originally planted in the 1880’s on a barren coastal stretch, it is now a lush and inspirational landscape. It holds the National Collection of Rhododendron barbatum ( see some images below) and features many magnificent plants that are typically not fully hardy in the UK even “down south”

The highlights for me are hard to separate between the most wonderful specimen turkey oak (Quercus cerris Argentovariegata)


…..and a whole host of amazing wetland and shady planting …




Sublime pond planting is really striking, and of course the Rhododendron barbatum specimens which were breathtaking!



The terraces adjacent to the sea are stunning, with large hedging for windbreaks higher up…


This all protecting the upper terraces from the Atlantic winds…



I am really jealous of the Echiums which I have barely managed to overwinter in a sheltered Buckinghamshire garden- yet these look fabulous here..



Many other treasures- iris in particular, and simply wonderful clumps of ferns and gunnera



Watch this space for some more photos…

RHS shows-lifting the veil, date announced

We have now agreed a date of 18th March for our planned event. Billed as a masterclass aimed at designers and landscapers wishing to learn more about RHS shows and/or to share their experiences, we are confident this will be a good forum for networking and learning in an attractive environment.


As well as a wealth of design and contractor expertise to share, our friends at Coblands nursery will be talking about how they can help and support designers in RHS shows, and local nursery Tendercare have offered a walk and talk at their lovely site nearby. We used both of these in our recent show action and are delighted they will be joining us.

Do please email ruth ( if you would like to come along. There will be a charge to cover lunch and speaker expenses.

Happy Christmas


Not as bad as we feared!

The remaining plants are now back at the office having arrived in 2 large van loads yesterday. Whilst there are some gaps, the situation is not as bad as we feared- we have all the main signature plants, the astilbes, hostas, angelicas and cenolophiums are all here and our lovely primulas, astrantias and lamiums are all safe. We still have the much admired persicarias and hosta praying hands. Somebody has clearly taken some, but not cleaned us out. As you can see from the photos below- what has come back looks good and we will be happy to sell on to personal visitors to the office. Do call first to make sure we are free to show you the stock.



It’s a gold!

We are delighted to say that we were awarded a gold medal for our RHS Hampton Court flower show garden. Even better, we were also awarded the best in class medal for the best Summer Garden. This in the most competitive category in the show-we could not be more pleased. My personal thanks to every single member of the extended Cool Gardens team, contractors, suppliers and clients. Alex our photographer was with us yesterday for press day and a few of his images are below.







RHS Hampton court garden- sneaky preview…

Well we have finally finished- all bar the last cleaning and final primping. Fantastic work by the whole team both in the office and at the show- it looks amazing. Check out the BBC coverage Monday evening as they were filming this morning on the garden.





We have Alex our photographer coming tomorrow so we will get some better photos, and hopefully after the judging tomorrow we will all have a bit more time. If you like the garden do please go and vote for it on the RHS website click here

Looking forward to some sleep at some point- many thanks to all our wonderful suppliers and patient clients.

Moving the trees in at Hampton Court

I wasn’t able to be there today so spent the entire day bugging the team for photos….the ones below are the trees coming in and being moved into place- all very exciting.





Now on site at Hampton Court

The team started on site and Hampton Court Yesterday. So far all has gone well- the rear wall frame is up and the trees were brought in today by Ruskins. As ever our huge thanks to them for their care and good humour.


The trees are in place and the frame for the sunken garden too.

The metal work is due to arrive tomorrow when the fun really begins.

Watch this space!

Hampton Court flower show garden underway

Per-build offsite was pretty smooth last week with Lee and Dean building the structures in a field much to the amusement of walkers on the Chiltern Way which goes past our drive.


The sheep were kind of keen too!

Carl will be leading the build, and the van is loaded with the stuff we need tomorrow and ready to roll into Hampton Court and start there.

The benching has arrived and looks wonderful too.



Alex Relph our wonderful metal worker has done an awesome job on the handrails which I am really looking forward to seeing put in place. We will update once we are on site.

Good luck all


RHS Chelsea success!

Gold medal!

Well done to all who worked at Chelsea to make it such a success. Phil led a team working for Peter Harket at Crocus to build the garden and it looks fantastic.


Congratulations to all, including the valiant office team keeping things going while Phil and co were out, and to our long suffering clients for your patience over the last couple of weeks!