With our US office situated in Cleveland, Ohio this was an important show for us. After successfully exhibiting at the Botanical Garden's Floralscape Show in '98 we were invited to build a Show Garden as the entrance to the semi-permanent gardens at this,
inaugural outdoor show.
I was lucky enough to be able to persuade Ian Cooke, of Verdant Horticulture to design and oversee the whole project. Ian has helped us before with planting for our Chelsea stands and did a fantastic job on this, our first ever Show Garden. Completing this daunting task was helped by the fact that our partner in Redwood Stone US, Larry Greenes, is based in Cleveland and we have established an office, showroom and warehouse there. Larry engaged the help of Willoway, Cahoon and Barnes Nurseries to supply plant material and Frieden Landscapes to help construct the garden.
As the showground, unlike Chelsea, is a permanent one, we were able to build the garden over the course of Spring. Ian made three trips to Cleveland to this end and left Chelsea early to add the finishing touches in the week preceeding the show.
With Chelsea and Cleveland in consecutive weeks this was probably the most hectic show season I have been involved in. We had to pack up Chelsea over the weekend and then I had to fly to the States on the Tuesday ready for judging and the Gala evening on the Wednesday, with the Show then starting on the Thursday morning. I went straight from the airport to the showground on the Tuesday afternoon and the bare site that I had first seen in January had been transformed into a beautiful 'English Avenue' featuring Columns, Balustrading and Ashmore Vases from our 'Weathered Collection'.
The whole team was up early on Wednesday morning for the final brushing up and watering before judging commenced at 9.00am. When we all returned for the Gala Evening we were delighted to discover that we had won Second Prize. Given the strength of the local competition and that our garden had been coordinated from over 3000 miles away I thought this
was a terrific achievement.