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Surrey landscaper commemorates World War One at RHS Chelsea Flower Show

PUBLISHED: 16:10 13 May 2014 | UPDATED: 16:10 13 May 2014

ABF The Soldiers' Charity Garden (detail)

ABF The Soldiers' Charity Garden (detail)

Archant

In terms of horticultural challenges, what could be more daunting than building a Main Avenue garden at the world famous RHS Chelsea Flower Show? Well building two gardens of course!

This is precisely what Milford-based landscaping company Outdoor Options is undertaking at this year’s show.

Never one to shirk away from a challenge Brian Herbert, director and owner of Outdoor Options, hopes to follow-up on the company’s success in 2011 when it won a gold medal in the Urban Garden section of the show.

“The Main Avenue garden is for the Army Benevolent Fund (ABF) or The Soldier’s Charity as it is also known,” says Brian.

“It’s called No Man’s Land and has been designed by Charlotte Rowe Garden Design. It is sponsored by private bank Coutts and global engineering and construction company Bechtel. It commemorates the centenary of the start of World War One.

The garden marks the conflict and reflects on how the landscape of the Western Front, particularly in northern France and Belgium, though changed forever, has regenerated and ‘healed’.

This is the first time the ABF has been involved with a garden at Chelsea. Add to this the fact that this is the centenary year, and needless to say we are exceptionally proud to be involved with such a project.”

The second garden sees Outdoor Options teaming up again with designer Olivia Kirk, with whom it won its first Chelsea gold medal.

The WellChild garden, sponsored by CQS in association with 100 Women in Hedge Funds, reflects the important role outside spaces play in supporting seriously ill children and young people.

“We have teamed up with another contractor, Living Landscapes, on this project, branding it as a co-build and it’s a great example of two contractors working together in what is a very short but incredibly intense working time frame and environment,” says Brian.

“Outdoor Options is a small landscaping team of eight and to be building not one but two fantastic gardens at undoubtedly the world’s premier horticultural event is a great honour indeed. And it just goes to show you don’t have to be big to be successful – you can be small and still be at the top of your game!”

• The RHS Chelsea Flower Show runs from Tuesday May 20 to Saturday May 24.

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