For Charlie Albone, landscape gardener and star of Selling Houses Australia, creating a garden for the Chelsea flower show in London was a journey of the heart.
In this excerpt from the August issue of the Foxtel Magazine, the familiar face of LifeStyle shares the lessons that have helped shaped him.
On my immigration form, I write ‘designer’ as my occupation
Every time I write ‘landscape gardener’, my bags get searched for muddy shoes. It takes a lot longer to get through the airport. I grew up first in Hong Kong, where the life was pretty outdoorsy thanks to the climate, then we moved to the UK. I played a lot of sports and always had horses, so when it came to deciding what to do for a career, I just looked for something I thought I’d enjoy.
My garden for Chelsea was inspired by my dad, who passed away when I was 17
Although it was emotional, it wasn’t built out of sadness. Michael, my dad, liked gardens, but was more likely to be found reading a paper and having a cup of tea than down in the dirt. There was nothing left unsaid between Dad and I when he died. My mum’s a keen gardener; she loves gardens and the Chelsea Flower Show. It’s a passion we’ve always shared. The garden was meant to inspire people, something to enjoy.
The Chelsea Flower Show was a dream come true for me
It’s not an easy feat, to design a garden on one side of the world and then create it on the other, but it was something I’ve wanted to do for years. There were a few moments of stress. Our water feature started malfunctioning the day the water-feature guy was flying back to Australia. He literally fixed it then ran off to the airport. But every water feature does that! And, despite its reputation, the UK weather was great while we were there. I even got sunburnt.
This is an excerpt from the August issue of the Foxtel Magazine. To subscribe, click here.