Early this year Steve Allard and Son were approached by Chris Beardshaw, to quote a stone pathway within his show garden for the 2017 RHS Chelsea Flower Show. With pleasure and honour all the same the Steve and Lewis set forth to do so.
Having been commissioned to fulfil the job it was 'all hands on deck'. The pathway itself is carved from beautiful Lime stone from the Cotswolds.
The Morgan Stanley Garden is inspired by the fractal geometry and patterns found in nature, music, art and communities. A sinuous path moves through three distinct garden areas, from verdant woodland to a central oak loggia and out onto a sun-drenched terrace.
Focusing on education, Morgan Stanley and garden designer Chris Beardshaw have worked with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, the world’s greatest orchestra of teenagers, to compose a unique piece of music inspired by the garden.
After the show, the entire garden will be donated to Groundwork. This charity will redesign and repurpose the garden, benefiting three community and educational schemes in East London.The Morgan Stanley Garden reflects more than five decades of commitment to children’s health and education by Morgan Stanley.
The stone journey began with a delivery of around 3 Tonnes of Limestone from the Cotswolds, to be laid out at our workshops in Callow End.
Drawn out and exceptionally thought out.
Drawings were passed to and from Chris to get this just right. It couldn't be anything otherwise! There were a handful of other craftsmen working on the surrounding jigsaw pieces of this exceptional garden, and it all needed to fit perfectly in situ.
Steve set to work... Mallet and chisel in hand, sunshine above, the work of a true craftsman began.
The day finally came, the hand carved pathway was due to be taken to Chelsea.
This was Josephs task!! To successfully manoeuver our truck with that amount of stone to site. From Callow End to London at the crack of dawn he set off.
With Steve's faith in Joe he did it and did it well! Stone was there on time and in once piece. (thankfully!)
The area was a blank canvas ready for the magic of the workmen and the beautiful design of Chris Beardshaw's garden to commence. Quite strange to look back now and see how much this space transformed in such a short amount of time.
It was truly amazing to be a part of a team working so tightly together to create this wonderful space.
Lewis, Joseph and Damien helped out in areas other than their own to get this garden finished within the time frame.
Lewis and Joe worked solidly for as many hours as they possibly could to get all their Stone work fitted ready for planting. As you can imagine quite a task!!
The garden after a few days of long hard graft came to life.
In all its glory the plants stood proud as did Steve, Lewis and Joe who put their expertise, time and love into this project.
All that was left to do was sit and wait for the judges reaction alongside the public....
Chris wins Silver Guilt!
This came as a disapointmet to many, but as a result the gardens fate was to change. The people spoke and the Morgan Stanley Garden won 'The peoples choice'
"Thank you very much to all the gardeners who voted for us and saw the beauty and integrity right through. I love using plants. I love the fact that when you combine plants and choreograph plants and you orchestrate them in a way that just touches people's emotions, and that's what I love doing. It's unashamedly a gardeners' and a plantsman's garden." Chris Beardshaw.
"The Morgan Stanley Garden has everything you would expect to see in a typical British garden. Inspired by the fractal geometry and patterns found in nature, music, art and communities, the garden features an oak and limestone loggia, designed in the shape of a single leaf, a curved path, colourful flower borders and a mixture of formal and informal planting" House Beautiful
"Chris' win comes just days after his garden was awarded a Silver-Gilt medal - a decision that caused some controversy. DIY SOS host Nick Knowles had called it an 'utterly ridiculous' decision, while many others on social media questioned why Chris' efforts had fallen short of a Gold medal." House Beautiful
It was a real pleasure to be a part of the process. Lets see what next year brings...