WHEN his financial backer for the Chelsea Flower Show pulled out at the 11th hour, Charlie Albone went with his instinct, and bluffed.
“I told a little bit of a porky pie and said I had sponsorship, that it would all be all right,” Albone says.
“I had to ring all my contacts and luckily the Husqvarna group came to the rescue at the last moment.”
Albone isn’t allowed to say how much “it” was, but an average entry at what he calls “the Olympics of landscape design” costs about $750,000. “I, of course, used my
Selling Houses budgetnuance to do it a bit cheaper than that,” he says. “The garden that was next to us was a Dubai garden, and they had an unlimited budget, so, when you’re next to that, it’s testing.”
The Selling Houses Australia co-host made a splash with his garden design. It is a peaceful place where he imagines he could catch up with his late father. In it, Albone combined Australian and English plants, and he won a Silver- Gilt medal for his efforts.
The annual event, which sells out months in advance, usually attracts celebrity and royal guests each year. Except this year.
“Sadly, it poured with rain,” Albone says “Let’s just say the best celebrity I had in the garden was Holly Valance. She and her billionaire husband were very kind about the garden. And the Prince of Kent came too, which was nice. I got to show him the garden.”
WEDNESDAY, 8.30PM, LIFESTYLE