Supporting The Psalm 23 Garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show
Post date: 07 Sep, 2021
Showcasing at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in just a couple of weeks time, The Psalm 23 Garden sponsored by the Bible Society is, as you might have guessed, based on the familiar Psalm 23, 'The Lord is my Shepherd'. The Bible Society hopes that this show garden will inspire churches, schools and communities nationwide to create their own Psalm 23 garden in their community, places for people to come together as the pandemic conditions ease!
Multi award-winning designer Sarah Eberle has interpreted this psalm as a journey through the garden using visual cues from the psalm in the design: the green pastures, still waters, and the valley of the shadow of death, ultimately leading to a place of restoration and sanctuary.
The design takes inspiration from the landscape of Dartmoor, Sarah's childhood home. The rocky terrain and water features mimic the rock tors, rivers and streams found across the moorlands of Dartmoor.
And that's where CED Stone Group come in. Our involvement in the garden began at the tail end of 2019 when our MD - Giles Heap was requested to help source boulders and rockery for the garden. Originally the Psalm 23 Garden was to showcase at the 2020 show, which, for the first time since the Second World War, was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the requirements being large boulders, there was only one man for the job, and Sarah was invited to travel North to meet with our 'Boulder Hunter', Tony Mason.
Based up in the Scottish Highlands, Tony heads our North of Scotland operation and sources boulders and rockery for all our nationwide CED Stone Landscape depots and special projects as and when they arise. Tony has been with the company for over 22 years, and no one knows more about sourcing and hauling boulders!
Sarah's first boulder hunting expedition was in March 2020, Tony took her to a couple of farms where Gabbro boulders are stockpiled. Gabbro boulders are formed by glaciation, hardly travelled they are not as round and smooth as other boulder and are found as the farmers are ploughing the fields.
Picture by @MarkGregory1960
Sarah spent the day clambering through the boulder fields deciding on the perfect specimens for the Psalm 23 garden. A total of fourteen large boulders were selected and moved to a safe site on the farm, where they remained for a little longer than first expected.
With the announcement that RHS Chelsea Flower Show would go ahead in 2021, albeit a little later than usual. In June this year, Sarah again made the trip North, this time with Landform's Mark Gregory, the show garden contractor. Meeting with Tony once again, they took another trip to the boulder fields and finalised their selection, with Mark also choosing products for the garden walling and river bed at our North of Scotland yard.
Pictures by @MarkGregory1960
Tony Mason tells us,
It was great to work with Sarah and Mark on this. Usually, my instructions are along the lines of, 'I need a boulder that weighs a tonne'. Or, 'Find me a 2-metre boulder'. It was interesting for me to experience their selection process and see the sketches showing the positioning of the boulders in the garden and the need for individual boulders to be of a particular size or shape.
The first load of boulders went to Landform Consultants Limited's yard at the end of June giving Mark and the team time to prepare them for the garden. The last of the boulders and walling were sent directly to the showground with some 'back up' walling sent to our London East Depot just in case they run short.
Pictures by @MarkGregory1960
Selecting boulders is the easy bit. Transporting them, that's the tricky bit. There are so many things to consider with regards to the loading and offloading of boulders and as the delivery address was inside the M25 even finding the right haulier was a challenge as there are special requirements that must be met for trucks delivering inside this area.
I kept in touch with Mark and the hauliers throughout the journey, from loading the boulders to the trucks leaving the yard right up to the minute the materials landed on site.
If I have learned anything over the years in this job, it's that communication is key.
And that's why, when it comes to boulders big or small, CED Stone Group are the best in the business.
With the build underwary we would like to wish Sarah and Mark the very best of luck at the show, and we look forward to seeing the garden in just a couple of weeks.