The show garden build begins today and Keni Lee has kindly agreed to guest blog for Meet @ Malvern to give us an insight of what it's like. Today he tells us a little about himself and takes us up to the point of the acceptance of his design...
For this year’s Malvern Spring Gardening Show, I will be building a show garden under the auspice of the Chris Beardshaw Mentoring Scholarship (CBMS) programme. This short article tells the story of how and why I got involved, as well as describing the underlying principles of my garden.
About me and why on earth am I building a show garden at Malvern
I am originally from Malaysia but grew up in various countries around the globe, including France and Japan. I have a PhD in Chemistry from France and currently work in healthcare PR in London. I speak fluent French, Mandarin, Cantonese and Malay; and English I suppose. Other than being a very serious amateur gardener for the past few years, I have no formal training in horticulture or garden design. Having said that, I am pretty good in botany (as part of my undergraduate studies) and bonsai cultivation.
Since moving to England, I have been inspired by the British healthy obsession with all things nature and gardening. An obsession that is unique amongst other European countries that I am familiar with. Having lived in one of West Sussex great gardens (Nymans), I was motivated to get into garden design/horticulture. By pure chance, I stumbled upon a website with a link to the CBMS less than a week before its deadline. My initial thought was that if I win the competition, this would be a very good indication that I may have a little bit of talent in this profession.
So I sketched a few drawings and sent them through. I was delighted when I was informed that my design has been shortlisted and I would proceed to the next few stages of the competition. However, within days, I received news that my father died, and I had to fly back to Malaysia for the funeral during the crucial few weeks when the subsequent rounds of the scholarship selection process took place. The organising committee was very kind with me and allowed me to extend a few of their deadlines. Eventually, and to my great surprise, I got in and my design was selected as one of the finalists.
Thanks Keni - the next installment takes us up to the eve of the start of the build. If you can't wait to know more, Keni also has his own blog all about this show garden...