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5 Stars at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2022

Woodland-Heritage-Launch

So did the sun shine? Well it did and then it didn’t, but it shone for Dame Judi Dench – of course!

Gaze Burvill jumped into the whirlwind of Press Day at RHS Chelsea Flower Show to host the launch of an important appeal for Woodland Heritage (Simon is Chairman) to drum up support for the charity’s campaign for the planting and careful management of woodlands for the production of fine wood. Dame Judi was our guest of honour, and visitors to the Show and photographers were all delighted by her presence!

More golden rays came our way, in the form of the top Five-Star Award, presented to us by the RHS as the Show opened. Gaze Burvill is once again so grateful to our star garden designer, Ann-Marie Powell, who created this extraordinary display on Chelsea’s Main Avenue, with two distinct areas: in the foreground, an elegant, shaded terrace, for a beautiful outdoor kitchen, and large Round Broadwalk Outdoor Dining Table, sumptuously styled by the team from Lamb & Newt, with pieces carefully sourced from Italy and some vintage too. Our Show florist was Leanne from Wildstone Floral, whose delicate and refined arrangements, all sourced from English growers, made us dream of summer lunches al fresco, somewhere away from the thunder and lightning dominating the skies in the earliest part of Chelsea week. In the background nestled a more intimate seating area, featuring our Woodland Seats in English Sweet Chestnut, surrounded by ferns and Hawthorn in flower – an enchanting space, which Ann-Marie titled ‘Hampshire Wild’ – it was enjoyed by many visitors for a quiet moment, away from the hurly burly.

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Visitors were wowed by Ann-Marie Powell’s exquisite planting choices, and her rich, warm colour palette. From peonies to lupins, astrantia to alliums, we were dispensing plant lists at a lively trot to all, but particularly warming for Ann-Marie were the heart-felt compliments from her peers, leading designers and horticultural experts. The plant list is here if you would like to see what all the fuss was about! The garden was built by Landform, who juggled the building of several of the show gardens, as always. Do check out our own photo gallery, courtesy of Julie Skelton, who absolutely captured the moment and the joyful mood.

VIEW PHOTO GALLERY

Sophisticated gathering was to be seen on our Curved Splash Lounge sofa arrangement – this large yet intimate concept, all craftsman-made by our team in Hampshire, is adaptable and hugely comfortable, as we can all confirm – it provided refuge during the sporadic deluges on Thunderstorm Tuesday at the Show. The much-complimented fabrics for the sofas and scatter cushions, were by Nobilis from their outdoor collection.

Our kind sponsors, Auriens, threw a party at our stand on Thursday, which was a lively gathering of friends and residents, and carried on till the late evening, almost till Show closing time! Guests had all had the opportunity to have a good look around the Chelsea Flower Show as the crowds were dispersing in the late afternoon, and were ready to rest tired feet in comfort and be offered refreshments and a glass or two of Champagne.

Sustenance on Press Day was a steady flow of scrumptious bites courtesy of our DeliVita wood-fired oven – sausages, pizza, prawns, and all with that unique smokey flavour which is impossible to create unless you are using proper wood in the oven – delicious!

More delicious food was served up by chef Elliott Johnson Paul, firing up the Sub-Zero Wolf Grill, and producing a steady stream of culinary delights for our guests on Tuesday, washed down with fragrant cocktails from Gorilla Spirits, with fresh herbs and fruit making it all completely healthy, or so it seemed…

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Woodland-Heritage-Dame-Judi-Dench

But back to Dame Judi… luckily the Curved Splash Lounge Sofa meant that everyone could gather round – in superb comfort, need I mention… With Dame Judi on the sofa were her great friend and leading tree expert Tony Kirkham, Simon Burvill, Ann-Marie Powell, and master carver Colin Mantripp, who is carving Dame Judi’s key dates into a through section of a Herefordshire oak tree, marking the key years in her life, like the first time she played Ophelia at the Old Vic, and the birth of her daughter and linking them to the life of the oak. She was so gracious, and delighted with the gift – we will be sure to bring you the update, once it is finished – so watch this space!

Because Gaze Burvill champions both the traditional arts of craftsmanship AND the contemporary digital technology whose skilled use can take furniture making (and much else besides) in new, innovative directions, Dame Judi was also presented with a small oak roundel, with a gently curved rim, to serve as a coaster perhaps, although, like so many oak objects, it is just a lovely item to pick up and touch. Gaze Burvill apprentice Thomas van der Lugt, who made the piece, presented it to Dame Judi, who accepted it with one of her special beaming smiles.

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