Family firm strikes gold at Chelsea

A VIVID display of woodland plants created by a family-run Suffolk nursery has struck gold at the Chelsea Flower Show. Harveys Garden Plants in Thurston, near Bury St Edmunds, won its fourth consecutive gold medal for an exhibition of rare and unusual woodland plants.

A VIVID display of woodland plants created by a family-run Suffolk nursery has struck gold at the Chelsea Flower Show.

Harveys Garden Plants in Thurston, near Bury St Edmunds, won its fourth consecutive gold medal for a 5m by 4m exhibition of rare and unusual woodland plants with a pond created by Roger Harvey, Caroline Taite, Jan Cavelle and the Harveys nursery team.

“We are ecstatic about it,” said Mr Harvey. “The team are already talking about the fifth - there's no stopping them.”

A vivid blue poppy from the southern Himalayas provides a centrepoint to the display, which features rare and interesting ranuncular flowers.


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“I think it's just packed with colour and unusual woodland and shade plants. There's reds and yellows and orange,” said Mr Harvey.

Multi-award-winning Clacton-on-Sea fruit grower Ken Muir Ltd lifted a silver gilt award for its strawberry display.

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The firm has scooped gold awards at 13 previous Chelsea Flower Shows, but company spokesperson Kevin Lynch said judges had been impressed by the new design of the display.

“We are really pleased with what we got. Not getting a gold is a slight disappointment but it means RHS are maintaining their standards and it just means we have got to do better next year,” he said.

Meanwhile, Writtle College scooped a silver award for its exhibit, entitled “Designing to Adapt”.

The stand highlights the fact that climate change is happening and suggests that designers and gardeners will need to adapt to the changing environment, selecting plants in the future more familiar with Mediterranean climes.

The Chelmsford-based college's horticultural department joined forces with the National Botanic Garden of Wales, Microsoft gold certified partner Infusion, Symbio and Misco, to develop an interactive two piece garden displaying a traditional planting of 2009 set against a 'Mediterranean' garden scene of 2109.

The exhibit was designed and constructed by senior lecturer, Ben Wincott from the further education horticulture department.

Among the main prize winners at the show - which is open to the public until Saturday, May 23 - the award for best show garden was given to the Daily Telegraph's architectural garden designed by Swedish landscape artist Ulf Nordfjell.

The best courtyard garden entry went to Giles Landscapes' Fenland Alchemist Garden, which designers Stephen Hall and Jane Besser said was based on the lives of traditional Fen dwellers who practised alchemy.

Mr Hall said many of the materials used to build the exhibit had been reclaimed from his own home as he was doing it up - from the kitchen window right down to bricks, screws and hinges.

An “Eco-Chic” design aiming to green unloved spaces in cities won the best urban garden prize for Helios, while the most creative award went to Laurent Chetwood and Patrick Collins' Perfume Garden filled with plants for creating scents.

A “green escape” garden for sitting in won the most creative award for Fenchurch Advisory Partners, Winchester Growers scooped the President's Award for their dahlias, and the President's Most Creative Award went to the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism and Newington Nurseries.

For their design the Cayman Islands entry had created an "underwater' garden, with planting to look like coral amid sand, rocks and shells.

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