With July fast approaching and the RHS Hampton court flower show on the horizon, we would like to take a moment to look back at an amazing RHS Chelsea flower show 2023. Another massive achievement for Surreal Succulents is to have won our third gold medal in three years.
The dedicated hard work from the team helped us create a garden full of texture and colour. A massive thank you must go to Jack Drewitt, who worked tirelessly to hand build the wooden planters that included a beautiful Japanese-style burnt wood effect. The judges really loved the new look and feel of the display.
The wood effect combined with the corten steel planters and outstanding succulents were even more intriguing when lit up by the amazing lighting supplied by Lightpro professional outdoor lighting. This gave the garden a distinct new feel and it looked stunning under the cover of darkness on Gala night.
The stars of the show garden were undoubtedly the giant Aeonium ‘Deep Purple’ who stood proud and tall in the Grand Pavilion.
The show itself never ceases to deliver a fantastic atmosphere. The RHS Chelsea Flower Show has the most amazing buzz that lasts the entire event. We met and chatted with so many kind and lovely visitors, answered many questions, and shared our passion for succulents. We can’t wait to go back again next year.
A huge thank you to all of our loyal customers and followers who make this dream possible. We want to continue to share this passion with you for many years to come.
Last year Surreal Succulents were excited to be exhibiting for the first time at the RHS shows. This was a new challenge for us as we are new to showing plants at this level. We wanted to showcase the colour, texture and form and highlight how well they work in a garden setting together. We came up with a contemporary display garden theme that would suit any small space such as a yard, patio or balcony garden. With of course its’s own Surreal Succulents style.
We decided to design and make some features for our show stand including our bespoke vertical succulent garden, succulent chaise longe and also corten steel planters. With a contemporary designer theme, we wanted to show how you can squeeze lots of plants into a small space. Using existing walls or furniture with space for plants designed into it to take up as little room as possible.
We were delighted to be approached by BBC Gardener’s World as they wanted to do a feature on us preparing for the show and film the final display garden. This was fantastic news for us but the pressure was on.
Mark came up with the design of the vertical garden and succulent chaise lounge. The succulent chaise lounge was inspired by the amazing repetitive patterns found in succulents and the design was certainly surreal. It was a concept piece that is actually comfier than it looks. We planted the head rest with Aeonium ‘Cyclops’ as these grow giant rosettes on the end of large upright stems, these looked like sun parasols. We also mounted multiple Aeonium tabuliforme vertically into the design.
The vertical garden was designed with the idea that if you only have a small wall space you can still enjoy a wonderful colourful succulent garden. We added some laser etched foot prints to make the design more surreal and add a different texture to the show piece. This was planted up with our Echeveria collection and looked amazing.
Our large corten steel bowls were planted up with our Surreal Succulents hybrids and large Echeveria’s from our collection. These were a great edition to the stand, and were a massive hit with the visitors.
We finished the set up with only 10 minutes to spare, It looked amazing and we were so pleased with it. All the features worked well and the colours of the planters and wooden textures went really well with the plants.
The next morning we were met by the BBC producers and it was at this point we received our medal. A silver gilt, we were so happy and delighted as this was our first RHS silver gilt we had ever received. It was so nice to share this experience with the BBC team as they had met us before and filmed at the nursery to cover the feature, they were really rooting for us.
The show opened and we were filmed with the legendary Adam Frost, It was amazing to chat with him before filming. Adam said he had seen our feature covering our nursery and he really enjoyed it.
A short while later we also met Carol Klein who was very popular at the show. The floral Marquee soon filled and the atmosphere was buzzing. It was amazing watching the crowds of people taking pictures selfies and popping their pictures on Facebook and Instagram.
We felt a massive sense of achievement but the best bit was meeting all of you that visited the show. We loved everyone getting inspired by our garden and buying our succulents.
In 2017 we wanted to create a show stand with a difference. So we collaborated with designer maker Mark Lea to create a new look and display to show case our succulents and plants.
We worked together to come up with a design that was practical for the show environment but most of all to give our plants and succulents the theatre they deserve. Having a display where the plants are in a tapering like fashion really shows off their natural beauty and as we discovered, this made our stand very tactile. It was lovely watching everyone come and admire and even stroke the plants as if they couldn’t believe they were real, especially the Aeonium tabuliforme.
We used digital technology such as CAD design and CNC routing to design and make our stand. This was a great way to work as we could incorporate our logos and plants into the design. It also showed how an Aeonium tabuliforme naturally lives and generally survives better when planted at an angle. We explained this to everyone visiting the stand.
We really loved showcasing our plants in the display garden just next to our sale stand. The visitors couldn’t believe how architectural and diverse the growing structures in these amazing plants were.
We chose a range of plants that were hardy below freezing such as Aeonium ‘Ice warrior’ and the impressive giant Aeonium ‘Pomegranate’. This was one of the visitor’s favourites, as it was in full flower showing off its spectacular bright yellow flowering spike. We also took Aeonium ‘Sunburst’ and Aeonium tabuliforme as these are plants can be grown in partial shade conditions, normally found in the gardens by shady walls.
We were so happy when we received a silver medal for our show garden
We would like to thank you all for your kind comments these are greatly received We can’t wait till next year to see you all again. Please visit our shows and events page to find out when we are displaying at flower shows.