Just one very busy week ...

on Wednesday, 29 May 2019. Posted in News

... in the life of Ian Drummond

We've been speaking to Ian Drummond, Creative Director of Indoor Garden Design and one of our Ambassadors.

Ian crop

The last few weeks have been very busy for you. Perhaps not surprising as it's May, a very busy time in the design and horticultural calendar, from Chelsea to Clerkenwell Design Week and more.

Chelsea Fringe - Grosvenor House
This year you were involved with the Chelsea Fringe. We see that you and your team built a glorious gold flower frame as part of the celebrations of 90 years of the JW Marriott Grosvenor House.

Tell us how you got involved and why a gold flower frame?

The Grosvenor House is a client of Indoor Garden and we have been working together over the last 8 years. We originally designed the frame for their 90th birthday celebrations that took at beginning of May. The frame was yellow to celebrate the Grosvenor yellow rose which has been grown especially for them. It also celebrates the launch of their Yellow Rose afternoon tea.

Gros Hse 1

What sort of feed-back have you had from the hotel and visitors?

It has attracted a lot of positive feedback and lots of social media pick up which is why we went for a frame - the ultimate 'selfie' opportunity. We've had ballerinas, black labradors and few pop people pose inside the frame!

Did any famous people get in the frame to be photographed?

The Hotel hosted the Ivor Novello music awards last week Thursday so there were plenty of music business people posed.

Elmhurst Ballet in the picture

Elmhurst Ballet in the frame

Any other comments about this installation for instance: how many flowers? Which flowers were used? How long did it take to put together? How big was your build team? Is it down now?

It took a team of 8 people in a day to install. We used a total number of 600 yellow flowers. We built this twice one for the birthday celebrations and again because the Hotel wanted to participate in Chelsea Fringe.

N.B. The Chelsea Fringe is a sort-off spin-off of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show though not related. The Fringe is more accessible and not restricted to Chelsea or even London. None of the events are commissioned, curated or judged. In 2018 there were 250 events listed.

Mayfair in Bloom - The Connaught Hotel

Running concurrently with both the main show and the Fringe is this non-related spin-off, Mayfair in Bloom. Here you were involved in decorating the Connaught Hotel in Bloom for this event. Again how did this come about?

The Connaught Hotel has been a client of ours for many years and we occasionally are asked to create a mini show garden for events such as the Queens 90th birthday and this year we were delighted to be asked to create a garden for Belgravia in Bloom. We used geraniums, roses, hydrangeas, ferns and herbs to create a plantscape that highlights the hotel's stunning entrance way.

Connaught Ian

Again has the feed-back been good?

Yes so much so they are looking at expanding the concept and increasing the planting for next year.

How long was this installation in place?

This installation was in place for 10 days.

Have you done something like this for them before?

Yes as I mentioned we created an English garden to commemorate the Queen's 90th birthday.

Clerkenwell Design Week - Zetter Townhouse 
This event is long established (10 years) and focuses on design in business from lighting and furniture to advertising and more. Throughout the week there are exhibitions, showroom events and installations.

You took part with your 'Under the Sea' Pelargonium installation at the Zetter Townhouse which you worked on with garden designer Claudia de Yong, who like you is a Chelsea Medal winner. When working with Claudia on Zetter TH – who does the design or do you both brainstorm it and put it down?

It's usually a two way process - one of us will come up an idea or a theme and then we'll brainstorm. In this case the idea was driven by coral being named colour of the year by Pantone. In fact we were bang on trend and the theme for Chelsea in Bloom for this year was also under the sea. We wanted to use coral shade geraniums so it made sense to extend the idea through to creating a seascape. I have to give Claudia credit for coming up with the idea. She is a wonderful collaborator.


Claudia and Ian with a Chelsea Pensioner

How different is it doing a project like this when someone else has to have input?
I enjoy working with people and I'm a team player so it doesn't feel any different. This is the second project that Claudia and I have worked on together. We have developed a great working relationship.

Have any of the other projects been similar I.e. working with someone else in the mix?

Claudia and I designed the Geraniums at the Door . -Chelsea Fringe installation for Zetter Townhouse last year - on behalf of Pelargoniums for Europe - again it was a two ways process. 

Zetter Townhouse are a client of Indoor Garden Design and I have long admired the Georgian facade and wanted to dress it in some way for years. When the opportunity came up to work with Pelargonium for Europe - I thought of this beautiful Georgian building as the perfect home. Geraniums have long been thought of as old fashioned and boring. I'm so glad they are making a come-back they are the perfect plant for the urban garden and for or a small outdoor space - balconies, patios, doorsteps. They came in a range of stunning shades and colours. They are easy to look and bloom throughout the summer and right through to autumn. I love them!

How did you get this gig?
We got the gig through J E Communications who look after the UK press and PR for Pelargoniums for Europe.

What was the brief i.e. why a mermaid and shells?
The brief was to celebrate the doorway and to create a summer installation using coral coloured geraniums.

How long did this very detailed installation take to put together and how many hands on deck did you have?

We have been planning the installation since January of this year - we created a design mood board and then a plan. It came together wonderfully and the reaction has been incredible - we caused a stir with last year's installation but this has had brilliant feedback and lots of 'love' and praise on social media.

CDW - Jennifer Newman Studio
The Jennifer Newman Studio on Clerkenwell Green produces simple furniture for indoors and out, often bespoke, and includes a range of planters.

What did you do there?
We worked with Jennifer Newman's range of planters to create a window display using lush tropical plants for Clerkenwell Design Week.

Jen Newman crop

Was anyone else involved?
This was solo Indoor Garden Design project - we were there to promote the health benefits of plants in the work space.

How did it go?
It went well and it was a great opportunity to connect with interior designers and architects during Clerkenwell Design Week.

How did you get involved - did you initiate it or were you invited to join in? 
It was an organic process and we have recently started working with the team at Jennifer Newman.

General questions

Are any of these installations still live i.e. can we go and see them?
The Geraniums in Coral at the Zetter Townhouse until 17 June.

Have you worked with any of these venues before?
We've worked all of them before - we have great relationships that create opportunities to showcase our work in usual settings.

Which part of the process of these installations do you enjoy most?
It's a toss-up between the designing and the actual installing. It's also great to see people interact with what we have created and give their feedback.

A BIG thank you to Ian for taking time out of his busy day to answer our questions.