Ich Bin: Ian Drummond, interior landscape designer

To coincide with this year’s Chelsea Flower Show, which kicks off today, meet the acclaimed local garden designer with a penchant for Chicken Shop

Ian Drummond: 'I abhor any form of bigotry.' Photo: PR
Ian Drummond: ‘I abhor any form of bigotry.’ Photo: PR
A true Kentish Town boy, designer Ian Drummond has worked on plant art installations for the Barbican Art Gallery and Sir Elton John’s AIDS Foundation’s White Tie and Tiara annual ball. He’s also scooped an impressive array of medals for design schemes and interior gardens at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. A creative director of Indoor Garden Design, which he joined in 1991, his work mainly focuses on film premieres, fashion shows and charity functions.

When were you happiest?
In bed.

Where would you like to live?
Kentish Town, where I have lived all of my life.

What is your favourite smell?
I can never resist the smell of coffee in the mornings that rises up from the Fields Beneath cafe next door to Kentish Town West station.


What is your greatest life achievement?
My Living Nature Exhibition that opened at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel and station concourse in October 2013. It really was my life story, told through plants, and the fact that it was housed in a building I’ve been familiar with all of my life was a bonus.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
To follow your instincts always. They will never let you down.

What is your earliest memory?
Planting a window box with my dad aged four – we lived on the Denton Estate, Chalk Farm.

What simple thing would improve your quality of life?
More time, and more sleep.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Coronation Street.

Living Art: sunflowers at Pancras Meeting Point 2013
Living Nature: sunflowers at Pancras Meeting Point 2013. Photo: PR
Where do you hang out?
The Ivy Club for business, the Chicken Shop in Kentish Town for pleasure and the Booking Office at the St Pancras Renaissance for a bit of escapism. For some really good local gastropub fare my favourite local dining spots are The Grafton and Junction Tavern – the menus are always short, seasonal and tasty.

Who or what do you hate and why?
Margaret Thatcher – for everything that she stood for and her legacy. I abhor any form of bigotry.

What’s been your best experience?
The first time that I attended the Sir Elton John White AIDS Foundation Tie & Tiara Ball; it was so unbelievably glamorous. I had been working in Sir Elton’s garden all week – to then get dressed up for the party was a real Cinderella moment.

What are you working on right now?
An interior plant installation for the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Knightsbridge to coincide with the RSH Chelsea Flower Show.

What did you do today?
I had a coffee today at the Camden Garden Centre with my fellow directors to discuss Indoor Garden Design’s 40th birthday which takes place in June.

Describe yourself as an animal.
A friendly brown bear.

Who or what do you love?
Other than my family, and my close group of friends, my great local love is Blustons’ Grade II-listed shop front: it’s something that I have grown up with – a very beautiful cherished memory.

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Check out Ian’s installation in the entrance and lobby area of the Mandarin Oriental from today. The RHS Chelsea Flower Show ends May 23.

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