The Royal Horticultural Society’s annual Chelsea Flower Show is the most prestigious event of its type in the world. Every year horticultural aficionados, royalty and a whole host of celebrities walk the aisles to view the latest creative displays from the world’s most celebrated gardeners and designers.
Late in 2011 the BBC presenter and Daily Telegraph columnist Andy Sturgeon approached Lovell Purbeck to discuss his design concept for the 2012 show. He had been commissioned by the show’s main sponsor, M&G Investments, to design their own shown garden. With such a high profile client, Andy knew his design would need to be imaginative and captivating.
Originally he wanted to incorporate Purbeck Thornback, but the scope and nature of the design was beyond the available capacity for that particular stone. After a visit to Lovell Purbeck’s quarry to view their selection of English limestones, he chose “another beautiful English Limestone called Jurassic Malt which is equally teaming with fossilized mollusc shells which perished in the mud millions of years ago”. It was also readily available in sizes and quantities needed to achieve his vision.
Lovell Purbeck supplied 9m3 (21 tonnes) of bespoke Jurassic Malt limestone for the paving, steps and cladding of the M&G show garden. The stone was supplied in oversized units to be fitted together on site. The copings for the pool were hand dressed and the cladding featured a series of precision water-jet cut holes. The garden which “celebrates traditional craftsmanship and the beauty of natural materials” was a Gold Medal Winner.
Andy Sturgeon said, “The team at Lovell Purbeck saw my vision to create an exceptional show garden at the 2012 Chelsea Flower Show. Although the Purbeck limestone I initially wanted wasn’t available, they came through with the exquisite Jurassic Malt which served our needs beautifully. I wouldn’t hesitate to use Lovell Purbeck again and I would certainly recommend them to other designers looking for English limestone”.