The secrets behind preparing plants for the Chelsea Flower Show

* The secrets behind preparing plants for the Chelsea Flower Show
03:33

Growing plants for the Chelsea Flower Show is no easy task, as Peter Clay, co-founder of Crocus knows all too well. After supplying plants and building gardens for 21 gold medal winners, he has come close to perfecting the art of growing.

Beatrice visits the English Eccentrics Garden by Diarmuid Gavin at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016 Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley

The standard of competition so high there is no room for anything but brilliance, though the British weather often has different ideas. The nursery has developed techniques to manipulate the climate to produce optimum growing conditions.

However, over the years all designers and growers have faced problems. In 2011 there was a mad panic to re-arrange designs after hot weatherkilled off key plants. Casualties included Iris sibirica, a spectacular blue flower, and wilting tulips, lupins and peonies. Lucky for some, plants such as wild orchids and roses benefited from the warm weather.

The opposite was true in 2010 when flowers were three weeks behind schedule due to the coldest winter in 31 years. In desperation some growers even resorted to using hairdryers to force plants into bloom.

It is a fine art balancing between plants blooming too early and too late. Plants move between the hot house and refrigerator under the watchful eye of dedicated growers. Learn the tricks of the trade by watching the video above.

Please review our commenting policy