THOMAS TELFORD GARDEN WINS SILVER AT CHELSEA

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Telford & Wrekin Council garden at The Chelsea Flower Show 2007

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CHELSEA PRESS RELEASE – 22 May 2007
‘The Old Gate’ awarded Gold Medal and Best Courtyard Garden in show at Chelsea

Telford & Wrekin Council and its partners have won a silver medal at this year`s RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

The Council scooped the award in the show gardens category for its interpretation of the Thomas Telford Toll House Garden.

This is the first time the Council has exhibited at the show – the most prestigious in the world, and two designers from the council, Michael Vout and Chris Jones were invited to build a show garden by the Royal Horticultural Society.

The Council was the only West Midlands entry chosen to exhibit at garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2007.

The theme was chosen as part of the celebrations and events to mark the 250th anniversary of the birth of the great civil engineer Thomas Telford. The garden depicts 17th century life in a tollhouse showing how life was lived at the time.

The garden is one of only 19 international show garden entries at the 2007 event and will be seen by Royalty, national and international garden experts, thousands of visitors and broadcast to countries from around the world.

The designers, both highly qualified in landscape architecture and horticulture, have considerable experience in designing and building RHS show gardens achieving a total of five gold, silver, silver gilt and Best in Show awards since 2001.

The Thomas Telford garden uses Telford’s designs for tollhouses on the Holyhead Road as a basis of the design. It is not a recreation of an existing garden but expresses the essence of Thomas Telford and his designs.

The purpose of the garden is :
– to be a celebration of Thomas Telford
– to bring attention to the work and achievements of Thomas Telford
– to create a beautiful show garden

Designers from across the globe apply to create show gardens and, with a limited number of spaces, only very special designs make it to the show. A committee of horticultural experts meet three times to assess the applications before selecting around 20 show gardens, which will create the impact and spectacle that Chelsea is renowned for.

Mike Vout said : “We are proud to be at Chelsea and proud for everyone who has contributed. We are grateful for all the great energy that has been put into project.”

Chris Jones said : “We are very pleased to have exhibited at Chelsea and are extremely delighted with this award at the first attempt. Both Mike and myself met the Queen who also showed an interest and asked questions about the tollhouse and garden.”

Lord Bruce Grocott of Telford, Chair of the Thomas Telford 2007 Steering Group, said : “This is a marvellous achievement by Telford & Wrekin Council and their partners.

“The recognition by the RHS in awarding a Silver Flora award highlights the commitment and skills displayed by the Telford & Wrekin designers and key sponsors including : Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, Harper Adams University College, contractors Telford & Wrekin Services, British Wildflower plants, P&W Maintenance Contracting Ltd, Dingle Nurseries, Shropshire Stone and Granite Ltd and Banbury Innovations – GRP Products.

“This is a triumph for the borough and a fitting tribute to the work of the great civil engineer Thomas Telford in this, the 250th Anniversary of his birth.”

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