RHS announces horticulture’s premier awards at Chelsea

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), the UK’s leading gardening charity, announced medal and award winners at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this morning.

The Daily Telegraph Garden, designed by Tom Stuart-Smith, now six-time Chelsea Gold medal winner, was awarded an RHS Gold Medal and Best in Show in the Show Garden category. Bob Sweet, RHS Shows Organiser, said: “Tom’s creativity excited the judges. The Daily Telegraph Garden displays a risqué choice of plants including Viburnum rhytidifolium, which is an unusual plant to use in association with pastel herbaceous plants. The Garden also features one of the more fashionable materials emerging from this year’s show, ‘Corten-Steel’, which provides a rusty brown appearance to the backdrop of the garden. One of the more unique features of the garden is the water feature with resonating ripples.”

Bournemouth Borough Council was awarded a Gold Medal and the coveted President’s Award, which is given to one exhibit in the Great Pavilion, chosen by the RHS President, Sir Richard Carew Pole, as his personal favourite. Speaking about the exhibit, Sir Richard Carew Pole said, "It demonstrates the pride and professionalism of local authority horticulture and should do much to attact visitors and economic benefits to the Bournemouth area. It is highly imaginative and has attracted a lot of positive comment from some of the most descerning gardening public".

Six further Gold Medals were awarded to Show Gardens: Cleve West for his Saga Insurance Garden; Chris Beardshaw for ‘The Chris Beardshaw Wormcast Garden – ‘Growing for Life’ at Boveridge House; Andy Sturgeon, who also won a gold last year, for the Cancer Research UK Garden; Dean Herald for the Fleming’s Nurseries Australian Garden presented by Trailfinders; Marcus Barnett and Philip Nixon for The Savills Garden; Sarah Eberle for her first Show Garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show, Walking Barefoot with Bradstone.

Five Silver-Gilt Medals were also announced in the Show Garden category; Marney Hall for The 4Head Garden of Dreams; Alan Capper in partnership with Ross Allan designs for GardenAfrica; Catharina Malmberg-Snodgrass for Ravine Garden: Gift of the Glacier; Jinny Blom for the Laurent-Perrier Garden; Xanthe White for The 100% Pure New Zealand Garden.

Bob Sweet said, “The standard of show garden design and execution at the Chelsea Flower Show just goes from strength to strength, and this year we are lucky to have a really rich variety of garden styles and materials with plenty of innovation. It made the judges’ job better – and harder – than ever.”

This year’s show featured 27 small gardens, six of which were awarded RHS Gold Medals. Best in Show in the Courtyard Garden category was awarded to Diane Appleyard, Paul Ashton, Dawn Johnson, Simon Street and John Walker for their A Garden for Robin. Kazuyuki Ishihara was awarded Best in Show in the Chic Garden category for Ao Arashi (The Blue Storm). Caspar Gabb took Best in Show in the City Garden category for The Green Room.

Bob Sweet said, “The small gardens are selected on the strength of their designs as opposed to the reputation of the designers. The awards results highlight the different styles and the international flavour of the show.”

A total of 44 RHS Gold Medals were presented to floral exhibitors in the Great Pavilion where the cream of the world’s horticulture comes together under one roof. Bob Sweet said, “The long cold spring has not made things easy for growers, but despite everything the weather could throw at them, the Great Pavilion is simply stunning. For example, Kirstenbosch, South Africa, has managed to stage a brilliant display in spite of the bush fires which swept their stock. At a time when there is a critical green skills shortage in Britain’s parks, a local authority has wowed the judges to win Gold and the President’s Award. And there are some stunning new hybrids to continue to improve the palette of plants available to the gardener.”

Staff from RHS Garden Rosemoor, who have created a garden feature in the Great Pavilion, were complimented by judges on their gold medal standard garden. The garden was not formally judged as the RHS does not award medals to its own exhibits.

Gardens and exhibits at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show are not judged against each other, they are all judged to a standard, so more than one medal from each medal category can be awarded.

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