When I watch the media coverage from all of the RHS Shows it rightly focusses on the gardens, designers and nurserymen and women who undoubtedly go to great lengths to win coveted Gold medals and deserve all the praise and credit they get.
I have however worked in the gardening industry for many years for a number of trade exhibitors and the effort the trade stands put in is equally impressive. Many of the trade stands at the major shows like Chelsea, Chatsworth and Hampton Court are often mistaken for show gardens because there is so much effort put into the displays, as they aim to give visitors a glimpse of how their products could look in their own homes.
Having designed, built, planned, managed and run trade stands at the shows over the years I can say that the weeks and months of planning are no simple task. The costs and efforts incurred are normally a large part of many businesses marketing budgets and prove a vital part of showcasing their products to the public in the flesh. Here they can look, touch and in some cases smell the products, judging the workmanship and quality first hand.
I personally love the gardening shows and love being involved in the build up and press preview days where you can witness first hand all the effort that goes in to making the shows great. This year I got a late call to help out planting one of the exhibits and I jumped at the chance, putting down my camera for a day and getting in touch with my love of gardening, in what I believe will become of the greatest shows in the coming years; RHS Chatsworth Show.
The efforts the trade stands go to is impressive and the range of trades people you get to meet on site using their distinctive skills to make the Shows the spectacle they are is impressive. I met someone at this years show who was undertaking a degree in Exhibition Design. Gone are the days when I was leaving school where the options were a builder, plumber or electrician!
The exhibitors listed above can be found via the following links
Sitting Spiritually - Bespoke wooden swing seats
Gabriel Ash - Hand crafted Cedar Greenhouses
Harrod Horticultural - Designers and manufacturers of a wide range of garden products
Hartley Botanic - Fine aluminium greenhouses
Rosara - Outdoor style for your garden
Sneeboer Tools - Hand forged stainless steel gardening tools
Bloomers of Bakewell - Home of the mouthwatering Bloomers Original Bakewell Pudding
Special thanks to Mike, Tom & the team at Base Squared who dressed and planted the stands for Gabriel Ash, Cathay Pacific and Hartley Botanic for letting me be part of the madness of the last minute planting before the show opened to the public. I thoroughly enjoyed it!