Garden designer Kate Gould will be mentoring 15 growers during the show season to help put their creative ideas into practice. Darryl Moore mentored 14 nurseries in 2015.
Around three nurseries will display at each of RHS Flower Show Cardiff, RHS Malvern Spring Festival, RHS Chelsea Flower Show and RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, and finally at RHS Flower Show Tatton Park in July.
Nurseries participating include Cornwall-based Trecanna, T3 Plants in Herefordshire, and Tinnisburn Plants from Dumfriesshire. High Park, Many Plants, Norfield, Hare Spring, Just Airplants, Sea Spring Seeds, Hayloft, Plants Shoots & Leaves, Primrose Hall, Bluebell Cottage, Plant Revelations and John Cullen are taking part.
Gould said: "It was amazing to be asked. I think the RHS creative mentoring project is a brilliant idea as the shows are fundamentally about the plants, and the guys in the marquees bring the real magic. What I’ve found especially interesting is how open minded and inventive the growers’ designs are – I might suggest something slightly outrageous and they go, ‘Yes, that’s great! We can do that!’ As a designer that’s great for me, to bounce ideas off people and have them bounce back – especially a nursery, as I’m learning a lot from them as well.
"As a mentor, my role really is to fine-tune their ideas and be able to facilitate what they want to do and criticise constructively from a design point of view. For example, when you build a Show Garden you do it as you never would in the real world; so having done that, I know how to make the most of limited time to create a believable effect. We didn’t have to grow the plants for our Show Gardens, and it’s growing that’s the really challenging bit. The growers are so creative with their designs – I think ‘my goodness where did that come from, why didn’t I think of that?’ Maybe I should start growing myself."