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As part of an exchange programme between RHS Malvern Spring Festival and Moscow Flower Show one lucky designer from RHS Malvern Spring Festival was chosen to design a garden at this year’s Moscow Flower Show, 29 June – 9 July 2017.

The lucky designers chosen were Mark and Gig Eveleigh, who designed the Tree House Garden at RHS Malvern Spring Festival

We are delighted to announce that Mark and Gig received a Gold Medal for their design ‘Manunkind’ at Moscow Flower Show 2017, read all about their adventure below:

Mark and Gig were thrilled to be invited to take part in the first exchange between RHS Malvern Spring Festival and Moscow Flower Show.

After a brief meeting with Karina and Rusannah, and still reeling from RHS Malvern Spring Festival, we set down to producing a design based on the theme of Ecology, drawing up working drawings and putting together plant and material lists.

With a week to go we were off to London to collect visas and working with the Moscow team to finalise flight and accommodation details and schedule arrangements.

After a safe, if somewhat bumpy flight, we were met at the airport and whisked through Moscow at midnight, and installed in our highrise apartment just a short walk from the Kremlin, right in the heart of Moscow city! Waking and seeing the view the following morning was quite something…. a little different to our usual green silence on the side of the Malvern Hills!

The garden build started immediately. We were taken to site and introduced to Germann who would be our driver and problem solver for the duration, and met up with Katerina and Denis, familiar faces from Malvern.

They, along with Indira from the Moscow team, were an invaluable source of help and information. We were driven far and wide to select plants and materials and in the first few days and whilst on site we were provided with manpower, tools and equipment as required.

The build went smoothly and we were made to feel very welcome by everyone as the teams arrived and other gardens started to take shape around us. The support from the MFS team was brilliant throughout. Despite being in the centre of Moscow with all the noise and hussle and bussle going on around us, the Museon Park site was a shady, leafy oasis of comparative calm, with a relaxed air of creative industry … at least, until about 48 hours from the completion deadline, when a whole group of gardens and stands started popping up around us. We were told from the start that

“everything happens last minute, it’s the Moscow way” they weren’t joking!

So, with the garden complete it was just a case of preening, adding the fine details and finishing touches and letting it grow and settle in.
The show itself takes a slightly different format to RHS Malvern, with press and public seeing it before the judges arrive… slightly alarming at times, when you turn to find people walking through, or draped over your sculptures, posing for the ever popular Moscow Selfie!

During this once in a lifetime opportunity we have completely fallen in love with Moscow! We have made time each evening to seek out the local sights and have been awed by what we have seen. The scale of this place is immense!! If you appreciate art and architecture and love a bit of ‘parklife’ it is a must see city. We have been made to feel welcome by complete strangers and be humbled by the hospitality and kindness of the people we have been working alongside.

We would thoroughly recommend this opportunity to anyone considering taking part in the exchange and would be delighted to act as support or mentor in the process.

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to those at RHS Malvern Spring Festival and Moscow Flower Show who made it happen for us. It has been an amazing and unforgettable adventure.

Photo credit: Mihail Sheglov

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