J D HAZELDENE GARDENERS
Hazel Murray came up with the original concept and design for
the garden, and has been responsible for bringing it to fruition. Drawing together
a committed team of amateurs and professionals, she has over the past twelve
months come to grips with such diverse tasks as construction scheduling, factual
research, the production of press materials, and sourcing assorted items from
Italy -including a dry stone wall! Hazel
is a well-known member of Sky’s team of weather presenters.
She made her name in Capital Radio’s Flying Eye traffic spotting plane
as the evening broadcaster. During that time she published a book of her aerial
photographs of London, entitled, “Capital London – Focus from the
Flying Eye”. Hazel and her husband Dominic have successfully cultivated
a hundred wine producing vines in southwest London. Apart from gardening, one
of her main loves is travel - she has crossed the Sahara three times, loves
nothing better than going on safari in a tent on the top of a Land Rover; and
closer to home, has had many holidays in France, and of course Italy. Hazel
has a first class degree in Mathematics, and has completed courses at the Meteorological
College at Bracknell. She has taken two weeks leave from her weather duties
at Sky to help create and man the garden.
Dominic Dichiera was born and brought up in Australia, but
his parents are originally from Italy. After leaving Australia he worked for
Sky, then spent a year living and working in Rome, and he loves all things Italian.
He is passionate about wine, and for the last six years he and Hazel have cultivated
what they believe is the only working vineyard in Greater London. The wine,
called Redlees Rosé, comes from their Clock Tower Vineyard in Isleworth.
By profession he is a senior broadcast engineer at Channel 4, and he created
the sound system for the garden, as well as being instrumental in building some
of the hard landscaping. His main love though is photography, his shots of both
Africa and Italy are available through a photographic library, and his pictures
of Tuscany were the inspiration for this garden.
Jos O’Donovan is an enthusiastic amateur gardener, who
describes herself as always learning. Professionally she works as a strategic
manager for Poole Local Education Authority. She vehemently opposes vivisection,
and she and her husband have a pet beagle, Brian, who was originally bred for
laboratory experimentation. Until recently much of her spare time was spent
as a tennis line-judge, and she officiated at many Wimbledon finals, as well
as at the Olympic Games in both Barcelona and Atlanta. She has been a full time
member of the team, contributing to the planning, building and planting of the
garden, as well as helping to man it for the show.
Hazel Davies is an expert plantswoman, trained at Kew. She
is a full-time gardener, and has designed and built many gardens in south-west
London. She is an enthusiastic painter, particularly with watercolours, and
she drew up the original garden plans that were submitted to Chelsea. In particular
she is a vital member of the planting team, and will help in manning the garden
during the show.
Julie Dene is a professional illustrator, and created the initial
sketch of the garden. She has designed a range of 3D greetings cards, and also
illustrated the books based on the famous escapee pigs Butch and Sundance. Rabbits
though are her passion, and she has kept up to forty at a time in the garden!
Julie originally intended to help build and plant the garden at Chelsea, but
instead found her time taken up with the arrival of a new baby.
An honorary member of the team, Fiona Tankard is the “Italian
Connection”. She has lived in Umbria for nine years with her husband Alan,
restoring a rundown farmhouse. She is a qualified English teacher trainer and
author of a number of educational books, the most recent being a children’s
book “Letters from Around the World; Italy”. In 2001, having noticed
a gap in the market, Fiona persuaded a British magazine publishers to start
up italy magazine; she is now editor and the magazine comes out in the UK every
two months. An invaluable source of information, she helped to find some of
the Italian artefacts, and spent a lot of frustrating time on the phone co-ordinating
the collection and freight of the dry stone wall – Italians don’t
like to rush things!