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Chelsea 2011 - building the display

What goes on behing the scenes, preparing a display in the Pavilion at Chelsea? This rather breathless sequence of images gives a few clues.


Friday May 20th at 8.36 in the morning, and we arrive to find the display tables ready. (Actually, we arrived at about 8.15, and they were the wrong way round, but the Chelsea staff were incredibly efficient at making it the way we wanted.)


10.14 in the morning, Bryan Hogarth is assembling wooden boxes, Ian is reading the instructions, and plants are being unloaded.


Half an hour later Edith is checking that the plants are properly watered, and driver Paul is continuing to add to the pile of materials.


By the time we stop for lunch, some of the boxes are in their proper places and are clothed with stone, and the first 'mountain' of Meconopsis and Primula plants has started to be built. The site is surrounded by plants and construction materials.


A couple of hours later there are a few plants in the alpine area, but the Primula/Meconopsis squad are winning. Margie and Stella keep an eye on progress.


By the time we go home, that area is well on the way to completion, so when we arrive the next morning, a big push on the alpine area is needed.


By the middle of Saturday afternoon, now aided by Dorothy and Andy, the alpine zone is looking much more respectable, and by the end of the day there was only a small gap to fill between this and Meconopsis mountain.


However, the other side of the display, not visible in this series of photographs, had barely been started. So on Sunday morning, the pressure was on.


No time to take photos during the day, but by the evening we were finished, and the site was tidy.


Six days later - and it is almost all gone.


Another couple of hours, everything is in the truck ready to return to Edinburgh, and the site is as we found it. Or maybe not. Those hundreds of thousands of feet have taken a terrible toll on the grass.