Flower show set to hit new heights
Published 23/05/2011 | 00:28
The world's most famous flower show will reach new heights this year with a garden in the sky.
But the unseasonably warm weather has presented some creators - like many gardeners across the country - with a challenge as they make their designs a reality.
An Avatar-inspired garden that lifts people 25 metres into the air by crane will be among the highlights as exhibitors unveil their creations at the Chelsea Flower Show.
They spent the weekend putting the finishing touches to the 17 show gardens, 15 small gardens and hundreds of exhibits.
Designer Diarmuid Gavin said he hoped his Irish sky garden would "grab some attention" and show that his country had "a little bit of imagination".
Those lucky enough to enjoy the full experience will step into a pod - named the Wonkavator - sit on a traditional garden bench and attach themselves to a harness before take-off.
"You're given a new view of a garden - the Irish Sky Garden will look different as the surroundings change - and then you elevate over Chelsea first of all, very slowly, and then over the whole of London and the river," he said.
Mr Gavin added that the idea came from the floating islands of Pandora, created for James Cameron's sci-fi epic Avatar.
After fears 12 months ago that unseasonal frosts would lead to a less colourful show, this year's warm weather is concerning gardeners hoping to win a coveted gold medal.
Patrick Collins, co-designer of the B&Q garden, said: "We've had to make a few changes to the original planting design because of the weather. We've had less choice of roses and lost some of our bulbs which came too early."