Exciting RHS news (for me)!

I've had some great news today! After an application process and selection day, I've been picked to be one of the volunteers at two of the RHS's shows this year.

I'll be volunteering at the RHS show gardens at both RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May and RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show in July. 

I've been to both before as a visitor but this is going to be a whole new experience. I'll be learning more about how the shows comes together and meeting people from behind the scenes - as well as the visitors who I'll be helping to make the most of their trips.

Matt Keightley is the designer behind the RHS Wisley Feel Good Garden, where I'll be stationed at Chelsea. It will highlight how gardening, and simply being in a garden or green space, can make you feel happier and healthier. There's been lots of research to show the positive impact that gardens and gardening can have on mental health and promoting this important message is a key element of this garden. It's also a bit of a sneak peak at Matt’s plans for his RHS Wisley garden, which will open in 2020. (A planned trip to Wisley earlier this month got rained off, but I will make it soon!).

So expect to hear more from me on that. I get to go to press day for both so follow me on Instagram @alexaryanmills for the highlights!

Matt's design for Chelsea.

Matt's design for Chelsea.

Visit my border at Gardeners' World Live 2018!

I'm very excited! My border “Useful and beautiful: a pollinator’s paradise” has been selected to feature at Gardeners' World Live 2018!

The border answers the theme of "Every space counts" and takes up a tiny 2.75m x 2.75m raised bed. There’s evidence that pollinators are less abundant than in the past. Yet no matter how much space we have outside, we can all do our bit to increase their numbers. This bed is carefully planted with shrubs, annuals and perennials from the RHS Perfect for Pollinators Plant List.  No matter their type or the season they arrive, every winged visitor will find something to nourish them. Creations made from recycled materials give them space to drink and rest and climbing flowers reach the sky. We humans just simply enjoy the beauty. My plan is to find a permanent home for the border after the show finishes.

Gardeners' World Live is 14-17 June 2018 at the NEC in Birmingham. Open to the general public, this BBC endorsed event hosts advice workshops, showcases new product announcements, show gardens and borders and has a stunning plant marquee. 

I'll be posting more about the work behind the scenes to make my design a reality, but for now, why not get yourself an early bird ticket for the show and have a look at the best borders at the show from the last few years?