Sparsholt College student Helen Parsons has designed the greenhouse interior and surrounding gardens for the Country Greenhouses RHS Chelsea Flower Show exhibit. She won a design competition by the Petersfield based company to help them create their 8m x 8m stand, featuring a 3m x 5m greenhouse.
Competition entries were submitted from students studying for the BSc (Hons) in Garden Design at Sparsholt College, which is close to the Country Greenhouses factory. As the UK’s leading college for the land-based industries, the standard of entries was very high and Helen’s design outshone them all. Helen’s winning entry is entitled “Beautiful Inside and Out” and was inspired by the company’s “no nuts and bolts inside and out” style.
During the process of turning her winning idea into a show garden, Helen had the benefit of being mentored by leading garden and landscape designer Paul Hensey of Paul Hensey Design. Paul has experience of designing 15 show gardens including 3 at Chelsea and he is also a member of the Adjudication Committee for the Society of Garden Designers.
Helen’s winning design features the greenhouse located between an ornamental garden and a vegetable plot. The design uses several features normally confined to inside spaces, outside. It is deliberately ambiguous as to whether this area is in a rural, urban or suburban garden. The greenhouse is designed to accommodate numerous propagating tasks, particularly for succession planting of flowers and vegetable crops. The greenhouse is also designed as a retreat with creature comforts finding their way into the structure and its surroundings. Traditional materials are given a gentle contemporary twist with simple oak sleeper benches and an outdoor potting bench placed in an aromatic arbour. The planting includes flowers, herbs and fruit.
The Country Greenhouses exhibit can be seen at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show from 22nd-26th May.