Arne's journal

Progress despite the rain

The Crocus team continue to make good progress on the build of the Laurent-Perrier Bicentenary Garden. If Mark and his team are at all worried about the weather, they are doing a fabulous job of hiding it. We are all hoping for respite from the rain soon though - our waterproofs need a chance to dry out!


The French limestone wall is now complete and the pleached copper beech trees are being carefully planted correct to the millimetre positions that we planned off-site. The trees really give a fantastic scale to the garden and the rare evening sun last night cast wonderful shadows through their canopy onto the wall. The copper foliage is gently unfurling as each day we get closer to the show. The pleached trees give a fantastic counter balance to the pear tree and really draw you into the garden.


The small Buxus plants we have planted along the wall add a splash of fresh green with their new flush of foliage and are like individual characters on their crooked stems.


The making of a garden: the first Laurent-Perrier film

To mark the bicentenary of one of the world's leading champagne brands, and to chart the design and build of the Laurent-Perrier Bicentenary Garden for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2012, we are working with filmmaker James Aiken to bring you a flavour of the expertise, dedication and passion of Champagne Laurent-Perrier.


This is the first in a series of three films which will be released in the final weeks of the Chelsea Flower Show garden build. We hope you enjoy the rare glimpses of the beautiful Chateâu de Louvois and the cellars and production centre at Tours-sur-Marne.


A special thank you to David Hesketh MW, Managing Director of Champagne Laurent-Perrier UK, who has made the project possible, Anne-Laure Domenichini of Laurent-Perrier for her beautiful French voice-over, and of course to Alexandra and Stéphanie de Nonancourt for their hospitality and energy for the garden.


Champagne Laurent-Perrier

Our Bank Holiday Pear Tree

Before most people were awake on the Bank Holiday weekend the ancient pear tree, which forms the corner-stone of my design for the Laurent-Perrier Bicentenary Garden, started its slow journey to the Royal Hospital showground, resplendent in its scaffold structure and tarpaulin cover.


The lorry made steady progress towards the Chelsea Flower Show site and arrived at about 7am on 5 May. The protective structure ensured there was no wind damage to the leaves and the pear tree arrived safely. Following its careful unload from the lorry, the special forklift, designed to handle such a heavy load, inched the tree down Main Avenue into its final planting position on the garden. The team from Crocus were brilliant - they really understood the importance of respect for such an ancient and beautiful tree.


It looks fantastic and just as we imagined.


Champagne Laurent-Perrier


RHS Chelsea Flower Show

The Chelsea build begins

The build for our Chelsea Flower Show garden for Champagne Laurent-Perrier has begun. 


The first task on site was to get rid of the standing water, although the whole site is saturated and very quickly turning to mud! Good progress has been made on the wall and the stone mason arrives today to start putting the facing stone onto the wall. 


It's exciting to be at this stage and to see all the activity on site at last.  Spirits are high despite the rain - there's a great feeling of camaraderie on site. We will regularly be posting pictures here so do follow our progress.


RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Champagne Laurent-Perrier

Back to Peter Beales

The roses we have selected for the Laurent-Perrier Bicentenary Garden at Chelsea Flower Show 2012 are flourishing in the good hands of the team at Peter Beales Roses in Norfolk. During a trip to the nursery last Wednesday it was a hugely reassuring sight to see plenty of healthy growth on the plants.

Each of the 300 roses for the show had flower buds and fresh foliage.  It was truly impressive to see so many roses with such wonderful lush leaves in perfect condition.  Some of the climbers had put on almost one metre of growth since we last visited in February.  We are hoping to use the climber Rosa 'Astra Desmond' against the boundary wall, quite different to the darker leaves of some of the shrub roses.

The cool weather means that some heat may have to be introduced into the glasshouses within the next week to bring development on. The team are well practiced at ensuring that plants are in perfect shape for the start of Chelsea week. Our roses will be delivered to the show ground in just two and a half weeks' time and we need the buds ready to open and only just beginning to open by then.  We are feeling positive!


Peter Beales Roses

Champagne Laurent-Perrier

RHS Chelsea Flower Show

The Chelsea roses under glassrose budRachel checking the climbing rosesRosa 'Astra Desmond'Opening rose bud