Wes Fleming, of Fleming’s Nurseries, has entered the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show in London nine times since 2004, with 2013 marking their final year.
Wes Fleming, of Fleming’s Nurseries, has entered the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show in London nine times since 2004, with 2013 marking their final year. Albeit this time Fleming intends to take home a souvenir.
“We’re going for it. We’re trying to achieve the highest award Australia’s never won, the Best in Show” says Phil Johnson, the award-winning landscape designer who has teamed up with Fleming for their final entry.
Fleming and Johnson have spent the past 12 months working on the biggest and boldest entry that Australia has ever displayed in Chelsea’s history.
The design is inspired by the Kimberley region of Western Australia and features a desert gorge, a native wildflower meadow and a natural billabong managed by an integrated water management plan. The piece de resistance is the waratah studio, a studio pod shaped as a waratah which towers over the garden and features a viewing area.
Native trees feature strongly in the design, including a collection of the fascinating Queensland bottle trees (Brachychiton rupestris).
“It’s organic, it’s free-formed, it’s got really hard-core environmental messaging. We’re not going to be polishing the leaves, we’re not going to be pruning the dead fern throngs because that’s what occurs in nature,” says Johnson.
The Queen is also on board, having requested the Fleming’s garden to be included in her tour of the show. The Queen is familiar with the Fleming’s contribution to the show, she even personally wrote a letter of concern to Fleming after he missed the event in 2009 when a third of his advanced fruit trees were destroyed in the Black Saturday bushfires.
Fleming believes the judges will like Phil’s design and its natural landscape feel, “it’s not a traditional English garden but brings in unique Australian elements”. Back in his own ‘backyard’ there is unanimous support for Fleming, with the hope that his nine year campaign to highlight the Australian horticultural industry is rewarded.
For the latest news and updates from Fleming's on their Chelsea display, go tothe website below. There's also some great video updates you can watch.