Robert is an experienced Chelsea exhibitor, collecting four gold medals over the years and scooping the RHS People’s Choice Award in 2009. This year he is designing his second show garden for Cancer Research UK.
We caught up with him to ask about the pains and pleasures of his progress towards Chelsea.
You can’t test the plants out though, and they don’t always do their thing at the right moment which can be frustrating.
Royal Horticultural Society It’s not long to go now, Robert, are there any measures you can take to reduce the stress of the build at Chelsea?
Robert Myers Everything changes after Christmas. Before then, Chelsea seems very distant, but afterwards it’s suddenly upon you. It seems ages ago that I started sketching this design during last year’s summer holidays.
In the early stages, it really helps to put the design onto computer and model it in 3D and then take a virtual walk through it. This allows you to get a feel for it – you can even turn the sun on and see where the shadows are falling, which is particularly important to the concept this year – I wish we could do that at the show!
The design always presents lots of constructional challenges and Willerby Landscapes who are building the garden try to create and test as much as possible in advance to minimise problems later on. You can’t test the plants out though, and they don’t always do their thing at the right moment which can be frustrating, but as the designer, you just have to put your trust in the nurserymen.
RHS What do you look forward to most?
RM The most enjoyable thing about Chelsea for me is the garden’s construction; producing something which is as good as it can possibly be to a deadline is very exciting. Often projects can take years to come to fruition, whereas Chelsea is instant! I look forward to getting the hands a bit dirtier than usual, immersing myself in the atmosphere and catching up with friends – there’s quite a bit of good-natured rivalry.
RHS And medals…?
RM Medals are impossible to predict and things don’t always go according to plan... It would be nice not to care, but I think our sponsor was pretty happy with last year’s RHS People’s Choice Award.
RHS Any regrets?
RM I can’t be present for the breakdown of the garden – it would be unbearable! I have to believe that in some parallel universe all the gardens still exist!