Sienna at RHS Chelsea 2023
We were over the moon to be awarded our third successive RHS Chelsea Gold Medal in as many years. After last years big display, we really felt the preasure to push the boundaries yet again. With another increase in display size we needed to also add height, so we added four stunning Acer trees, their natural shape and structure really helped add depth to our exhibit.
The stone wall returned after it's popularity last season, this time it was Hosta 'Dinner Jacket' growing from the cracks. The display took a week to put together and we were very grateful to everyone who came to help us, it was a real team effort.
Now Chelsea wouldn't be Chelsea if it was easy! After completing the display we were dealt a couple of problems. The first and most major issue was when we discovered our pond had a leak! When we say discovered, it wasn't particularly hard to miss as you can see from the image below. We were not helped by the fact that the ground at the Chelsea showground was rock solid and none of the water was soaking away. After some frantic troubleshooting we found a solution and we could stop worrying.
As if a leaking pond wasn't enough, we were greeted the next morning with a large part of the display trashed...was this intentional vandalism? It turns out that overnight, a troublesome London fox had made his way through the Great Floral Pavilion leaving destruction in his path. We were not the only nursery effected and some others had it a lot worse than we did. Once we had cleared up the mess, we were all keeping our fingers crossed that we could get to judging with our display in one piece.
(A tired but happy team ready for judging)
At Chelsea, the judging team judge floral exhibits on Monday morning. Just after this the show is opened for press day when the press, celebrities and members of the Royal Family visit. It isn't until Tuesday morning when the show opens for RHS members that we find out the results from the judges.
Press day is a fantastic spectacle and we were extremely honoured to have had a visit from His Majesty the King, he stopped to discuss our on going work at Highgrove with his National Collection of Large Leaf and Giant Hostas. As well as The King, we had a host of other celebrities come to admire the hostas including Dame Joanna Lumley, Bill Bailey and friend of the nursery Dame Mary Berry.
On Tuesday morning we were up early ready to start the nervous journey into the showground to find out what the judges had made of our hard work. After a long week of setting up and countless weeks of planning, organisation and loading, we get to see what the end reward is. We were over the moon when we saw the shine of a Gold Medal sat on our stand. This is our third Chelsea in a row and our third Gold Medal so we couldn't be happier.
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