Janet’s joy is creating for Chelsea

Patricia Thirion and Janet Honour (right) of Berkhamsted Chelsea Flower Show designers
Patricia Thirion and Janet Honour (right) of Berkhamsted Chelsea Flower Show designers

A Berkhamsted woman is aiming to tap into people’s awareness with a water-themed charity garden at the Chelsea Flower Show.

Janet Honour and fellow designer Patrica Thornton are back at the world’s most prestigious gardening event for the fifth year running.

Previously the designers have scooped two silver gilts, a bronze and a silver and are crossing their fingers that they may get a hallowed gold this time.

Janet, who has lived in Lombardy Drive in Berkhamsted for nearly 20 years with her husband James and teenage son Gareth, said: “It’s fascinating, exhilarating, exciting, everything.

“Just creating a garden at Chelsea is the most fantastic experience.

“As you approach the gates it is bubbling with excitement that you can tangibly feel, either if you are showing or one of the visitors who make up such a wonderful day.

“If you love gardening, it’s a complete joyous experience.”

The garden is inspired by the work of international charity WaterAid in areas of India that experience flooding and reflects the transformation to people’s lives that can be brought about by access to clean water, improved water and sanitation.

The backdrop to the garden is a simple house on stilts with a veranda.

The surrounding garden is a blaze of colour, with marigolds, roses and hanging garlands being grown and prepared for sale in the cut flower industry which is big business in India.

Edging the garden are lush bamboos, rubber plants and Jasminum.

Janet, who previously lived in Hemel Hempstead, and Patricia, who hails from Paris, formed their business – A Touch of France Garden Design – after initially meeting at college.

Now they are working flat out with suppliers and a construction team to be ready for the 100th Chelsea show in May.