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Page last updated at 12:08 GMT, Thursday, 20 May 2010 13:08 UK
Kent designer wins gold at Chelsea Flower Show 2010
By Jo Pattison
BBC Kent

Roger Platt's garden
Roger Platt's show garden at the Chelsea Flower Show

Most exhibitors at the Chelsea Flower Show plan their garden a year, sometimes even more, in advance.

Imagine finding out you have been commissioned to build a garden at the world's most prestigious flower show, just months before the big day.

That is exactly what happened to Kent garden designer Roger Platts from Edenbridge.

Despite his short preparation time, Roger has won a gold medal at Chelsea 2010.

The challenge
Roger Platt
This years exhibit will be Roger's first for eight years

Not only is Roger's Chelsea garden his first show garden for eight years, but it is a main show garden which has been commissioned by the show's main sponsors M&G Investments, who have taken over the sponsorship for the entire Chelsea Flower Show for the first time.

The reason Roger had such little notice of his commission was that the show sponsors themselves were appointed very late in the day.

It has been a mad dash for Roger, and his team at Stick Hill just outside Edenbridge, to get the design together, source the hard landscaping, and get the plants to a state of perfection.

"A show garden at Chelsea is always a challenge, a good challenge, an exciting challenge but it's a particular challenge this year because of the timing," said Roger. "Normally I would expect to have some plants prepared for the show a good growing season ahead."

When asked if the gold medal made all the work worth it, Roger said, "It was worth it a couple of days ago when I stood back and looked at the garden. In fact, it was worth it during the whole of the built up. It was a fabulous time, we thoroughly enjoyed it so really just the icing on the top was the gold medal."

The garden

Roger Platt's garden
Roger hopes the garden will evoke a feeling of security

Roger's garden is a traditional English garden, full of plants, but with a contemporary twist.

It has been constructed using local materials such as locally raised English oak, Sussex sandstone and reclaimed bricks and tiles. He hopes the garden will evoke a feeling of security and cosiness as visitors to the garden are surrounded by planting.

"I wanted to create a garden which has a lot of interest and as you walk along the boundaries you get different views of it," explained Roger.

"The focal point in the centre is a pool with a sandstone surround and it's all going to be gentle and calm. I hope I can sit within the garden during the show and feel that I'm away from all of it and I hope that the visitors can do the same."

Roger is exhibiting his garden on Main Avenue, plot MA18.

Other Kent gold winners

The Cancer Research Garden built by Four Elms company Willerby Landscapes won gold. In the Urban Garden category Jo Thompson from Marden won the only Gold medal in the category and Best Urban Garden.

In pictures: Roger Platt's garden
26 May 10 |  Nature & Outdoors
Chelsea Flower Show
24 May 10 |  Kent


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