Chelsea Flower Show: Doris the caravan takes centre stage

Doris the caravan Doris is helping the Caravan Club celebrate its 105th anniversary

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A caravan called Doris is the focal point of a garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, created by a Kent designer for the West Sussex based Caravan Club.

Jo Thompson from Marden used the 1950s aluminium caravan as a centre-piece, surrounded by pink and cream planting.

She said the unusual spring weather had made her very worried that the flowers would not be in bloom for the show.

"When I got here I realised that everybody was in the same boat," she said.

'Grassy feel'

The East Grinstead based Caravan Club, which is celebrating its 105th anniversary, approached Ms Thompson to design a garden to show the good points of caravans and caravanning.

Planning for the garden started in July 2011, Ms Thompson said.

"We thought it would be quite nice to have a bit of nostalgia, and some new things too, so we've got lots of sharp lines," she said.

Work began on 4 May to build the garden at the show.

Caravan Club garden at the Chelsea Flower Show The garden combines a feeling of nostalgia and modern hard landscaping

Ms Thompson said the whole build of the garden at the flower show was very tightly scheduled, but she had forgotten to take into account the length of the towing frame of the caravan.

"We got all the trees in and started raising the walls, and when she [Doris the caravan] arrived we realised we would have to take down one of the walls."

The plants were grown in Edenbridge, but after a cold spring the design had to be adapted as roses and pink peonies had not bloomed in time.

"It's more of a grassy feel, with more cow parsleys, campions and ragged robins," Ms Thompson said.

"It's all become more wild and loose, which I'm really happy with.

"It's been a real privilege to be here.

"You get to see the most amazing designers from all over the world doing their thing, and watching how they work."

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