Gavin rethinks Chelsea design

Garden designer Diarmuid Gavin looks set to test the RHS’s patience after scrapping his Chelsea show garden plans just four months before the world-famous show gets under way on 20-24 May.

Gavin, who infuriated the RHS in previous years after an on-site spat with fellow exhibitor Bunny Guinness, as well as failing to secure sponsorship for his balls-on-sticks garden until the last minute, had masterminded a garden for an art deco hotel at this year’s Chelsea. But he has now ditched the idea after teaming up with Sir Terence Conran to design a café garden. A Diarmuid Gavin Designs representative said: Diarmuid simply changed his mind and decided to do something different. The Café Garden follows on from Conran and Gavin’s coffee-table book Outdoors, launched in December. The garden will centre around an open-sided pavilion with a city courtyard garden that invites visitors to stop for a drink or lunch. Giant white daisies built from stainless steel and mesh and a forest of lollipop-shaped Catalpa trees will form a backdrop to the garden. Mass planting will feature shades of green with a jungle of bamboo, Carex grasses and Gavin’s trademark Dicksonia tree ferns. An RHS representative confirmed Gavin’s new design was being assessed: From time to time garden exhibitors need to amend their designs in the light of trends or sourcing plants and materials. Diarmuid consulted us about his plans to change his design and the reasons why. We understand Diarmuid’s circumstances and are looking forward to processing his updated application shortly. This is not the first show garden at this year’s Chelsea to cause a headache for the RHS. Just before Christmas, Christopher Bradley-Hole announced he was withdrawing his Contemporary Parterre garden and may now stage it at Chelsea 2009.

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