Arne's journal

Setting out at Crocus

We recently had one of our monthly meetings at Crocus to discuss the construction of the Laurent-Perrier Bicentenary Garden for the Chelsea Flower Show 2012 and check all of the plants, which are growing on at the Crocus nursery.  We were also able to walk through our garden for the first time as it was set out on the ground at Crocus, using wooden pegs and string.  This was enormously useful to get a feel for the scale of the garden I have designed.   We were able to walk around the area and see how it all works and decide on any adjustments which might be needed.  We made some minor changes to give a more generous feeling of space. 

The path felt too narrow, particularly when I envisaged the pleached copper beech trees linign each side of the avenue, so we have widened the path slightly.  Now hopefully the balance is just right. 

It was most exciting seeing all of the plants potted up and getting a sense of what their scale and texture will be like from those promising buds.  The plants are being beautifully cared for by Karen the nursery manager at Crocus and her team.  Some are showing new growth but many are still dormant.  Rather like pots of paint with the labels hidden, full of promise and one can only imagine the wonderful colours and texture which lies below.  It fills me with huge excitement and anticipation for May.



RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2012


Arne with Mark Fane at CrocusArne and Rachel with the team at CrocusWooden posts and string used for setting out the gardenJohnny and the team setting out the garden at Crocus

The Laurent-Perrier Bicentenary Garden

Since the turn of the New Year, the design studio has been energised with a renewed sense of expectation - and a certain amount of trepidation! With the Chelsea Flower Show on-site build only 16 weeks away we are ensuring we have all the materials, plants and support we need. I thought therefore that it was about time I share the design on the website - and we will be writing more regularly over the coming weeks about our preparations.


The Laurent-Perrier Bicentenary Garden is a timeless, ornamental 'gardener's garden'. All elements of the garden will be carefully handcrafted, complemented by a soft planting scheme to provide elegant structure. The design was inspired by Laurent-Perrier's 200-year heritage of time-honoured methods and reputation for creating pioneering champagnes. It showcases exacting attention to detail, combining traditional and contemporary elements through both the planting and landscaping.


The planting itself creates the structure of the garden. I have used architectural pleached copper beech trees to give height and a sense of enclosure, which will turn golden through winter months. Topiary arrangements have been formed to add character and shape to the planting and an antique pear tree provides a key focal point at the front corner. Flowing water will outline the garden adding movement and a cool elegance.


This garden is not intended to baffle visitors to the show - instead it has been designed as a 'real' garden, which will appeal to any visitor with a love of plants and a keen eye for plant combinations. It is relaxed enough to be able to gather a bunch of flowers for the house, or to entertain friends on the central terrace. I will be available throughout the week to answer questions about the plants and I hope that visitors will be inspired to try a few of the combinations in their own borders at home.

The Laurent-Perrier Bicentenary GardenThe Laurent-Perrier Bicentenary GardenThe Laurent-Perrier Bicentenary Garden