Australians return to build again at RHS Chelsea

Australian landscapers have returned to RHS Chelsea to build Alan Titchmarsh's 50th anniversary show garden, From the Moors to the Sea - a celebration of RHS Britain in Bloom.

The Alan Titchmarsh garden crew join in with #RHSChelseaSelfie fun with Gregory (bottom left) and Gould (bottom centre)
The Alan Titchmarsh garden crew join in with #RHSChelseaSelfie fun with Gregory (bottom left) and Gould (bottom centre)

Chelsea veteran landscape company Landform Consultants has brought the Antipodeans over after being asked to build the garden, which Titchmarsh is working on with garden designer Kate Gould, at a late stage in the show planning stage.

Managing director Mark Gregory said he decided to commission the Australian crew because most of his team were already engaged but also because he thought the show would not be the same without them. Many of the team have built the Australian garden for Fleming’s and Trailfinders in previous years,

He said they were all highly skilled landscapers, some of whom run successful businesses in Australia, and their lively presence on the Chelsea show ground had been really positive for the show, with landscapers enjoying swapping tips and seeing how working practices differed.

There have been eight Australian gardens at RHS Chelsea since 2004. After winning several gold and silver-gilt medals, last year their garden, designed by Phillip Johnson of Phillip Johnson Landscapes, won the coveted Best in Show prize.

Gregory added: "Several of them asked to work with me and it was nice to be able to offer it to them. They were sad that the Australian garden had run its course last year. It struck me that they weren’t coming back anymore."

Gregory, who has been involved in 20 gold medal-winning gardens at the show, decided that offering them a working holiday to work with industry doyen Alan Titchmarsh would be popular.

"They grew up with Groundforce on TV in Australia, this is as big as it gets for them," he said. "They are so motivated and we are having a good giggle."  

Gregory said the six landscapers were not being paid but were given their flights, food and board, in a six-bedroom house in Tooting.

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