Chelsea garden diary: shopping for sculptures in France

Cleve West, the designer of this year’s RHS Chelsea garden for The Telegraph, travels to the South of France in search of unique sculptures that could help win over the judges in May.

French sculptor duo Serge Bottagisio and Agnes Decoux create their statues from earth and concrete which they mold into basic shapes such as cubes, cones, cylinders and spheres, before adding axe cut grooves.

Cleve West hopes to used the couple’s « Colonnes » sculptures to add scale and texture to his garden at the Chelsea Flower Show and has travelled to their home in South West France to see them for himself.

He plans to contrast the modern art works with Cotswold dry stone walling and urges gardeners not be afraid to combine new materials with more traditional ones.

« The juxtaposition creates some sort of vitality and creates a timeless feeling for the space, » he explained.

« A lot of people are frightened of using contemporary sculpture next to an old house for example, but more often than not it will work, » he added.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2011

Cleve West on his Daily Telegraph Garden