Lecturer, Garden Designer

Chris Bird has a long history of designing gardens for RHS Chelsea and his track record includes nine Gold medals and six Best in Category awards. Chris’s 2019 entry, Behind the Genes, won a Gold medal and Best in Discovery. As a Lecturer at Sparsholt College he works closely with Plant Heritage, the RHS and the National Trust. Chris has co-ordinated the college’s displays for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show since 1998.


Student – Construction Team leader

“I’m excited about Chelsea because it’s a very prestigious event. As soon as I joined the Horticulture course here at Sparsholt and found out the college took part in the show I was really looking forward to it! Chelsea Flower show is a great opportunity, and gives us something to work towards.

As Construction Team leader for this year’s Chelsea build, I make sure I’m on top of what’s going on in the background to feed onto the other guys helping. I’ve learnt being a young Horticulturist is quite valuable, and it will be good to go into my career and bring new ideas and inspiration to gardening.”



Student – Construction Team

“I’ve never been to the Chelsea Flower Show before, and I’ve always wished I could go there after watching it on the TV a lot. I started gardening with my Grandad when I was really young, planting bulbs and things like that with him.

When my Grandad passed away, I thought ‘I’ll go and do Horticulture for him as well as me’. Now I know I can go to Chelsea, I can’t wait.”



Student – Construction Team

“As a Level 3 Horticulture student at Sparsholt College, we get to do Chelsea Flower Show in year 2. So we’ve been primed and ready to go for the past year and a half! To be able to actully put our hands on plants is great”


Student – Construction Team

“Chelsea is a really big thing. I’m on the Construction Team here, and we’ve been building the melon frame and alcove to specific Chelsea measurement. When I leave Sparsholt, I want to do something in landscaping and construction, and this work really helps towards this. It’s a great thing to put on your CV!”


Student – Plant Team Leader

“I’m the Plant Team leader, and on this team we make sure the plants for the Chelsea garden are happy and healthy. We do this by keeping record logs of what we’ve grown, what dates they’ve been potted on and what dates they’ve been germinated, as well as making sure no diseases spread out;


Chelsea is just such a fantastic event. It’s high excitement, and long hours, but still really good fun!”



Student – Plant Team 

“I joined the Sparsholt Horticulture course because I’m interested in growing lots of plants. Chelsea Flower Show is really exciting – I’m on the Plant Team, and get to sow lots of seeds for the garden. I’d love to move onto working in a kitchen garden when I leave Sparsholt.”


Student – Plant Team

“I joined the Sparsholt Horticulture Course because I enjoy lots of planting at home. We have an allotment, so I enjoy growing and gardening there. I’m on the Plant Team for the Chelsea garden this year – this involves planting the seeds from plugs, looking after them and ensuring they stay healthy!

I’m excited for Chelsea Flower show as my mum and dad visit the show every year, and they’ll be coming to see the Sparsholt garden this year.”


Student – Plant Team

“I found out I had a real interest in plants when I started collecting houseplants. I realised it was something I really enjoyed, and loved learning more about.

The Plant Team do all sorts of stuff: from planting seeds and raising them up until we put them in the garden, to general maintenance, like making sure they are watered and sprayed, and that they have no pests or diseases. I think Chelsea is going to be an amazing experience – We’ve got a good lot of us going and I think it’s going to be really good fun!”


Student – Graphics Team Leader

“On the Graphics team, we’ve helped with the leaflet designs, and information for the website and garden boards. We got to read Gilbert White’s ‘The Natural Kalendar’ – it was completely fascinating. It’s amazing to see him look at weather patterns 300 years ago, and see how they are similar now!

I’ve always been interested in the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. I used to watch it on TV sometimes with my grandma! I’m excited to get involved in something that’s so nationally recognised – I’ve never done anything like this before! It’s a nice chance for Horticulture to stand out and have its moment where everyone sees it.”



Student – Graphics Team

“I did Horticulture in secondary school, and found it very interesting and relaxing so decided to continue with it.

I’m in the Graphics Team, and at the moment I am researching the Ha-Ha wall, Wine Pipe Seat, and Wildflower Meadow at Gilbert White’s house. People are really impressed we are involved in Chelsea; it’s essentially the Olympics for Horticulture! It’s something that everyone talks about, and everyone’s really excited about it.”


Student – Graphics Team

“I really enjoy gardening and working with plants. I think it’s really therapeutic to plant seeds and watch your garden grow, and it’s really nice to try my best to make the world a bit greener and brighter.

Chelsea is a once in a lifetime experience. Being able to actually work there and be a part of it is going to be incredible. I’m on the Graphics Team researching into different aspects of the garden like phenology and Gilbert White’s life. I’m currently looking into melons and fruit walls – looking at the different varieties, and different techniques of growing them from then compared to now.”