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Display Gardens: Chelsea Flower Show 2011

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Started by: Margaret Young

Congratulations to the AGS members on their Gold Medal Display

Go to latest contribution by Martin Rogerson, 21 June 2011, 20:22. Go to bottom of this page.

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Contribution from Margaret Young 24 May 2011, 13:28top / bottom of page
AGS gain Gold again....

The AGS Stand looks just lovely... what super colours... a rich looking collection of more "accessible" plants, it appears.......Ray, John, Tim and the Team have done a wonderful job. The display really just reeks of fabulous summer! Can't have been easy with the spring weather we had to get so many good plants in flower.... so much material must have gone past ages ago... great to see such a profusion of colour.

Well done to all the Team!

Contribution from Richard Wilford 25 May 2011, 07:50top / bottom of page

I just want to add my congratulations to the team. The display looks fantastic and well deserves its gold medal.


Contribution from Julie Slimm 26 May 2011, 14:47top / bottom of page

Yes, I couldn't agree more the stand looked fantastic and recieved alot of positive comments from the public on Tuesday. Congratulations to all who put in the hard work and effort to bring in a Gold Medal.

Contribution from Margaret Young 26 May 2011, 18:32top / bottom of page
TV disappointment

I'm told the AGS Stand was mentioned in the first day of TV coverage from Chelsea but in the following days I have caught a couple of other little snippets about plants I am sure are on the AGS stand but the Society hasn't been mentioned.

Rachel de Thame seems to manage to mention all the stands she talks about plants from... pity the other presenters don't do the same.

Must be frustrating for all those who worked so hard on the display not to get at least a mention for the AGS.

Never mind, the Members appreciate their work!

Contribution from John Humphries 28 May 2011, 00:28top / bottom of page

Thanks for the comments, all too soon it seems I'm heading in tomorrow for the last day of show, sell-off and breakdown.

As always it was a real pleasure putting things together, although this year seemed a bit more pressed than usual as the search for plants and the additional driving for various loads of compost and other elements. Seemingly, I didn't manage to take my usual abundance of photographs....only a few and those mostly in the early build stages.

So how about anyone who has some pictures adding a few here now to give us all something to remember it by.

Cheers, John H

Contribution from Jim McGregor 20 June 2011, 12:39top / bottom of page
The Chelsea Story

This contribution perhaps isn't as timely as it might have been, but it's been a hectic few months, what with the Conference, closely followed by a fuller than usual contribution by the Society to the Malvern Flower show, Chelsea itself and then a hectic tour round Scotland by the Joint Rock Plant Committee!

At last I've cut the grass which was heading for a foot high, and caught up with some of the other more urgent gardening jobs. I can now organise and share some of the pictueres I took of the Chelsea Story.

Chelsea of course didn't start just a few weeks ago - it started about a year ago with the arrival of the 20 or more forms that the Director (Chris McGregor) and the Garden Designer (Ray Drew) have to fill in to apply for space. (I gather the forms for 2012 have arrived already!)

Meetings to discuss and plan the garden took place throughout the year.

The Buildup

The first physical activity was the arrival of the Buildup Manager John Humphries and his son John at AGS Centre to collect all the parephernalia involved in the basic structure (rocks, waterfalls, pond liners). This coincided with the Saturday of the Malvern Show which was in full swing.

At this stage, the Director (Chris McGregor) and Dick Bathe were scouring the Malvern Show for plants additional to those previously organised as there was concern at this point about the early season. Some of the plants that had been planned for had gone over.

At Chelsea itself, the first half of the buildup week involved the creation of the overall structure of the garden, the placing of the rocks, the trees and the water features.

I didn't get any pictures at this stage as I was at home Monday and Tuesday building lecterns to the Director's specification for use in recruitment during the week of the show. (She painted them late into the evenings).

On Wednesday, Chris and I headed off up to North Wales to collect a vanload of plants from Aberconwy Nursery. We were met by Keith and Rachel Lever who were waiting to help load up the van - a tricky business as the plants have to reach the show in pristine condition. Tim Lever had already left to join the buildup team at Chelsea.

Back at Pershore on Thursday, the additional plants acquired the weekend before were squeezed in. A phone call to the buildup team was required to decide which to leave out as they wouldn't all fit, but in the end only one tree was left behind, some being squeezed onto the passenger seat! The lecterns were tucked in at the back and I then drove the van down to Chelsea.

While this was going on, more plants were being collected by Katie Price, Judy Mallick, Ray Drew and Barry Hennessey.


Meanwhile, at Chelsea, the basic structure was in place and the garden was ready for planting to begin.


Kit Grey-Wilson who was helping with the planting, Joanne Everson and Ray Drew:

John Humphries and Tim Lever.  The pants are being cleaned by Judy Mallick, Margaret Brine and Barbara Chapman.  Each plant has to be perfect - not a dead petal or leaf in sight.

Contribution from Jim McGregor 20 June 2011, 13:40top / bottom of page
The Completed Garden

My next opportunity to take photographs was not until the Monday when the show opened to the press and to Royalty. The usual miraculous transformation had taken place and the completed garden was a credit to everyone who had been involved!

The Woodland Side
The Woodland Side
The Boggy Bit
The Boggy Bit

I may add some more pics with close-ups later.

Later on Monday - Royalty Visits

On the Monday afternoon, the show is visited by Royalty and everyone has to stand by their Gardens waiting to see if anyone shows up. This involves a lot of waiting around. First Ray and the President Val Lee:

Later on Monday - Royalty Visits

Also waiting, John Fitzpatrick the new Editor of the Alpine Gardener with Chris McGregor.

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