In the late 1980’s I applied to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Committee to take a Garden Installation Stand at their show in the grounds of The Royal Hospital in central London. Produced on a shoestring it relied on originality rather than high-priced production expertise.
The form / questionnaire was sent and duly filled in and returned. Besides explaining who I was, why I wanted to exhibit and what my stand would be about I had to submit a plan and sketch. The design hadn’t actually been formulated so I chose a Victorian Terrace House garden. It was safe and unchallenging. It would sail through the inquisition…
A few years earlier I had exhibited various drawings, photographs and ground plans in the Garden Design Tent, sadly an area that has long since been dropped. I had also been writing a bi-monthly gardening series in the Sunday Times so I wasn’t a complete unknown. My application was approved and I was awarded an exhibition area of approximately 10m x 6m.
Meanwhile, there had been a battle raging in the national press between Qualcast cylinder lawnmowers and Flymo hover mowers. Each goading the other by running cash-win competitions as to who could cut grass the quickest, the neatest and the cheapest.