“The biggest flower show in the world” – the Chelsea Flower Show – is being held in London this week. For several years now landscape artist Kazuyuki Ishihara has been a fixture at the show, wowing crowds and judges. He’s taken home gold medals 4 years in a row. And this year was no different.
Ishihara, who runs a successful landscaping business in Japan, had to arrive with plenty of time before the show. That’s because he travels all over Europe sourcing suitable plants before constructing the actual garden. This year he presented “Senri-Sentei,” a garden for an antique car enthusiast “with the planting designed to complement the vehicle.” Garages aren’t typically associated lush greenery and the blend of nature with a motor vehicle was risky but paid off – Ishihara was awarded a gold medal in the Artisan Gardens category, where he typically competes. The two-tiered structure is divided into essential space for the car but also a room for the family to relax. The roof serves as the main garden.
Ishihara has been participating in the Chelsea Flower Show since 2004 but he wasn’t always a favorite. Japan, because of its humid climate, has a very special connection with moss. It’s used all forms of gardening from landscaping to bonsai. “It has been difficult to make them understand what moss means to us,” said Ishihara, speaking about London’s flower show in an interview from 2012. “The air in the UK is drier and moss doesn’t grow here, so it is hard to convince the judges that moss is a normal element of a garden.”
But Ishihara kept at it. In 2012 he finally won a gold medal. “I believe I have persuaded them,” he said. And Ishihara never looked. This is the 5th year in a row that he’s won a gold.