Chelsea Flower Show 2015

13th February 2015


Roots and Shoots is returning with Pennard Plants  for the third year to Chelsea Flower Show, this timewith an Edwardian themed garden in the heart of the Great Pavilion. It will be based on Rudyard Kipling’s famous poem, The Glory of the Garden in the 150th anniversary of his birth. 

Our previous two gardens won Chelsea medals.

Designed by landscape architect Tony Danford, the garden has an Edwardian theme and reflects gardening as craft, art and science. As with the two previous Chelsea exhibits, this is a garden of two halves which tells an engaging story. Divided by an arched pergola, based on Harold Peto’s at West Dean, formal borders at one end feature exuberant Gertrude Jekyll inspired planting including Digitalis, Delphinium, Achillea, Paeonia, and Iris pallida. Mixed herb hedges surround beds of Allium, Gladiolus, Lilies and Eryngium.  At the opposite end, the other side of “the thin red wall”, the kitchen garden reflects the perfection only achievable through the hard work of “..the gardeners, the men and ‘prentice boys..” of the poem.  Here are “the cold-frames,” potting shed and serried ranks of onions, lettuces, beans, cabbages and potatoes.  A herb planted potager, surrounded by low box, with a pedestalled bird bath in its centre, grows herbs for the table.


The choice of the poem is important. It strikes a chord with the young students at Roots and Shoots who are receiving vocational training in horticulture and understand that ’half a proper gardener’s work is done upon his knees’. As Kipling explains, “…such gardens are not made by singing ‘Oh how beautiful!’ and sitting in the shade.”  A glorious garden comes through great effort – a point which will not missed by the creators of all Chelsea’s magnificent exhibits, the result of many months of physical work in every weather, as well as meticulous planning.

The poem also tells how a garden has a place for everyone’s skills and abilities, “For the Glory of the Garden occupieth all who come”, wrote Kipling.  Indeed that is a great part of its magic and of Roots and Shoots’ ethos.

Linda explains, “This is the opportunity for young people to celebrate the beauty of English gardens and our horticultural and floristry heritage. It emphasises that it’s the hard work of gardeners that makes a garden. Something that’s often forgotten.”

“Pennard Plants are pleased and proud to be working with the team at Roots and Shoots to create a third exhibit at the world famous Chelsea Flower Show,” says Chris Smith. “We always try to create something new and thought provoking and I believe 2015 will be no exception. The design by Tony Danford, who has worked on our other two collaborations with Roots and Shoots, is amazing and brings together a beautiful, glorious English Garden from the Edwardian Period whilst emphasising the work and skill needed to cultivate plants to this high standard. The garden would be nothing without the gardeners!”

Batemans, Kipling’s house in Sussex