Perennial trainee gardeners join planting team

The epic task of building the Perennial RHS Chelsea Flower Show main avenue garden is now underway and joining the planting team on the final two days will be four Perennial trainee gardeners from the charity’s Leeds and West Suffolk gardens, which open to the public to raise funds alongside the Laskett in Hertfordshire.

The Perennial Garden ‘With Love‘ is designed by Richard Miers and is a structured, elegant and classically contemporary garden in a palette of green with soft white and plum undertones. Trees and shrubs include flat-topped hawthorns, multi-stemmed Persian ironwood, yew topiary and Portuguese laurel.

The garden team of 50 plus people have just 18 days to turn a 22 metre by 10 metre space into a perfect garden at the world’s most famous flower show. It is hoped the garden will raise awareness of, and support for, the free information, advice and support Perennial provides people in horticulture and their families.

(pictured above left to right Kate Holliday, Gary Bean and Jason Gotts with garden designer Richard Miers.)

Gary Bean and Jason Gotts are based at Fullers Mill, West Stow. Gary began his apprenticeship five years ago and is expecting his task at RHS Chelsea to be very different to his day job. He’s grateful to get this hands-on behind the scenes opportunity.

Jason is eight months into a trainee position with Perennial after starting as a volunteer. Its been his goal to work on a Chelsea show garden as he is interested in garden design and is keen to learn from Richard.

Kate Holliday is a month into her job as a trainee gardener at Perennial’s York Gate garden where she also volunteered following a career change. She studied horticulture while working full-time and is delighted with the unique opportunity to experience the hard graft and skills that go into making a Chelsea show garden.

Joining Kate (pictured above) from York Gate is Tom Nicholls who also swapped careers to be a trainee gardener. Tom, will travel to RHS Chelsea from a study visit to Sweden where is learning about naturalistic gardening from expert Peter Korn. He has only ever experienced RHS Chelsea through BBC coverage and so he is keen to find inspiration from all the gardens while working on one of the largest plots on Main Avenue.

The garden echoes Richard’s belief that they are a gift of love between those who create and nurture them and those who visit and enjoy them: “I’ve been planning this garden for two years and I’m grateful and excited to see it coming to fruition. It’s a privilege to be part of an organisation that gives something back to our horticultural family of growers, designers, gardeners, landscapers and grounds staff,” he says.

A virtual walk around the garden can be found at: