Business is booming for talented Kate, with exhibition this week at Chelsea Flower Show

Primrose Hall Nursery - peony

Primrose Hall Nursery - peony - Credit: Archant

An award-winning Radlett-based garden designer is mentoring for the prestigious Royal Horticultural Society Flower Shows.

Kate Gould

Kate Gould - Credit: Archant

Kate Gould, who lives in Aldenham Road, won multiple accolades at previous Chelsea Flower Shows - picking up three gold and one silver gild medals, as well as the highly coveted ‘Best In Show’ title for her inspirational designs.

She is working with nurseries, which will be exhibiting in the floral marquees this year, helping them come up with fresh innovative ways to display their plants.

Kate is an RHS-appointed mentor as part of a funded scheme to encourage development of different styles and highlight the beautiful plants.

She said: “It was amazing to be asked to mentor. I think floral innovation is a brilliant idea as the shows are fundamentally about the plants, and the guys in the marquees bring the real magic.

“What I’ve found especially interesting is how open-minded and inventive the growers’ designs are. I might say something that I think is slightly outrageous and they go ‘Yes that’s great! We can do that!’. As a designer that’s great for me; to bounce ideas off people and have them bounce back, especially a nursery as I’m learning a lot from them as well.”

Her impressive career has seen her thriving garden design business regularly commissioned in the Home Counties and London for more than 15 years. She is headhunted by homeowners, architects and interior designers, as well as property developers and commercial clients to transform gardens of all sizes.

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She was recently invited to design a garden for a show in Turkey in May. The theme of this year’s Be?ikta? International Garden and Flower Festival is peace and Kate’s garden called ‘A Garden of Two Sides’ explores the idea that the road to peace is a fragile path.

She writes for The Guardian’s gardening blog and enjoys regular invitations to speak at landscape and design shows, garden schools and other public events.

Kate added: “As a mentor, my role really is to fine tune their ideas and be able to facilitate what they want to do and constructively critique from a design point of view. For example, when you build a show garden you do it as you never would in the real world. So having done that I know how to make the most of limited time to create a believable effect.

“We didn’t have to grow the plants for our show gardens, and it’s growing that’s the really challenging bit. The growers are so creative with their designs. I think ‘My goodness - where did that come from, why didn’t I think of that?’ Maybe I should start growing myself!”

The show dates kicked off in Cardiff earlier this month and include Malvern Spring Festival and the Chelsea Flower Show in May and Hampton Court and Tatten Park Flower Shows in July.

Nurseries are participating from across the UK, from Lincolnshire to London, Berkshire to Cornwall and Dorset to Dumfries.

Further information about the floral marquees is available here. Kate’s website is here.

Forthcoming RHS Shows

RHS Chelsea Flower Show – May 24-28

RHS Hampton Court Flower Show - July 4-10

RHS Flower Show Tatten Park - July 20-24