Friday 6th August 2021
Tom Massey has worked with the Yeo Valley Organic Garden team for two and a half years now, designing our show garden for the RHS Chelsea flower show.
We sat down with Tom to find out a little more about him…
‘The most exciting project I am working on at the moment is the first ever Yeo Valley RHS Chelsea Flower show garden. It is also the first time ever that the flower show has taken place in September! It’s a great time to be involved.
So far, I’ve really enjoyed learning how an organic garden works and the whole ethos behind it. It’s inspiring to speak to Sarah, Tim and the whole garden team and listen to how they take a much gentler, laid back approach in their organic garden. The whole organic ethos resonates with me and is something I’ve taken away into my own garden and those of some of my clients.
The show garden is mainly inspired by Yeo’s own Organic Garden, but also by the natural world. One of the features of the show garden is an egg hive structure that people can climb in to feel cocooned. The whole garden has a natural feel to it, using natural materials like water, wildflower meadows and trees.
As well as the Yeo Valley Organic Garden, I really recommend visiting the Hauser and Wirth garden designed by Piet Oudolf, one of the eminent garden designers in the world. It is a surprise to see a garden of that calibre and quality hidden away in rural England. It’s definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area!
This season my favourite plant is the Hawthorn tree, because of how resilient they are. You see them growing out of cracks in rocks, and by this time in the year they are already covered in blossom. They’re an underrated tree but would work really well as a feature tree in any garden.
My top gardening tip for the summer is that you should be planting plants that are adaptable and can take our increasingly weird weather. Just this year we had the driest April and wettest May on record! You need plants that can take the shift in weather from extreme heat, to extreme wet. We’ve got to get used to it and work with it – it’s the future of gardening in this country.
If I could give one piece of advice to my younger self, it would be just to experiment in the garden and try things out – don’t be afraid to make mistakes. That’s the beauty and joy of gardening, if one thing doesn’t work out you can explore something else. You don’t need to be a perfectionist!
In the meantime, our Organic Garden on the Yeo Valley farm is now open for visitors! Come to explore the many features of our six-and-a-half-acre garden and enjoy a tea and cake in our tearoom. Find out more here. We look forward to welcoming you!