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28 October 2014
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Meet the designers

Get inside the minds of Chelsea's top designers and find out where you can enjoy their design work outside the show.

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Marcus Barnett and Philip Nixon

Show garden 2007: The Savills Garden

Chelsea track record: Third time at Chelsea: won a gold and best in category for their Chic Garden in 2005, and for their first Show Garden in 2006 they also won gold.

Marcus Barnett and Philip Nixon

Design trademarks: Marcus and Philip's gardens have an elegance all their own. Clean lines and simple structures create pure, calm spaces which are very modern yet not in the least showy. A major feature is strong geometry - look for symmetry and visual links between features - and planting is used as the single splash of luxury and exuberance to complement and emphasise the restraint elsewhere in the garden. Their 2006 show garden, which won them a gold medal, was inspired by modernist architect Mies van der Rohe, famous for his minimalist, austere designs, and this is a clear thread which runs through Marcus and Philip's work.

In their own words: "For a garden to be successful it must have structure and logic and be a place that people can use easily. It should delight and inspire; it should be a sanctuary and an escape."

Website: For more information visit

Chris Beardshaw

Show garden 2007: Celebrating 100 Years of Hidcote Manor

Chelsea track record: Gold medal on his debut in 1999, bronze flora in 2005; and a gold and People's Choice winner in 2006

Chris Beardshaw

Design trademarks: For Chris, it’s all about the plants, and he loves nothing better than to pack them in until the garden is overflowing with colour and texture. The result is a lavish, romantic look which celebrates all that's best in British gardening. His design style and philosophy are a natural match for recreating and restoring some of our most iconic historic gardens, and last year he struck gold - and won the coveted People's Choice award - with a garden based around the sumptuously planted borders first designed by Gertrude Jekyll for Boveridge House, in Dorset.

Where to see his work: Boveridge House, Dorset

In his own words: "A great garden should provide limitless rewards no matter what the time or season - it is a coherent collection or reminder of all that we find most precious in life."

Website: For more information visit

Jinny Blom

Show garden 2007: Laurent-Perrier Garden

Chelsea track record: Two show gardens in 2002 (in collaboration with HRH The Prince of Wales) - silver and 2006 - silver-gilt

Jinny Blom

Design trademarks: Warm, emotional and pretty, Jinny Blom's work is supremely feminine. She uses a colour palette of blues, purples and pinks to create a soft, romantic effect, and the plants she chooses - paeonies, roses, wisteria - are known for their ability to make you swoon, rather than, for example, their architectural qualities. The world of art is a major inspiration, and there is a painterly quality about many of her designs. She describes her design ethic as simple: 'contemporary arts and crafts, built to last'.

Where to see her work: The Sheep Field Barn, Henry Moore Foundation, Much Hadham, Hertfordshire. Crowne Plaza Hotel, Marlow. Iden Croft Herb Farm, Maidstone, Kent

In her own words: "I want my work to be around in 400 years and to look as beautiful decayed as it does now."

Website: For more information visit

Lesley Bremness

Show garden 2007: Through The Moongate

Chelsea track record: First full-sized show garden; designed the first-ever herb garden at Chelsea in 1977.

Lesley Bremness

Design trademarks: Lesley is best known as a highly experienced and knowledgeable herbalist. She writes and lectures widely about growing and using herbs for medicine, cooking and in essential oils, and is fascinated by their influence on our moods. It's perhaps not surprising, then, that she is also an expert on Chinese gardening, especially the plants used by Chinese herbalists in medicine and healing.

Every plant in Lesley's designs is there for a reason, and has its own use and story. She plays with colours and textures to influence the observer's reactions, and creates moods with planting in a way few others can. Her own herb garden in Suffolk is a soothing, magical concoction of densely-planted beds where every plant is grown for its useful properties.

In her own words: "Given the rising importance of China, horticulture can be an enjoyable way for western people to develop a deeper understanding of China as a country that has an increasing impact on all our lives."

Website: For more information visit

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