Chelsea has more natural feel, says Thompson

M&G Chelsea Flower Show garden designer says the hard lines of pleached trees and rectangular ponds are less popular this year at Chelsea.

Jo Thompson said: "We want to create a real garden space that someone can live in. It’s a reaction to gardens that speak of ostentation.

"I feel strongly about the right garden in the right place. I get cross about rectangular pools and pleached trees that block the view and about design for design’s sake. It’s not reality."

She added that "good staff are hard to find" to build the garden, amid suggestions around the show that poaching of staff was being talked about. Thompson said she was unaware of that but said of her landscapers SH Landscapes and team of 10-12 female planting staff, who she has worked with for four years and are all horticulturally-trained: "I think it’s about having a team who know each other and do it for the love and not the money and are really, really loyal."

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