Hillier Celebrity Auction

Hillier Nurseries Celebrity Memory Tree Auction

Own a piece of RHS Chelsea history

A charity auction is giving 13 people the chance to own a piece of RHS Chelsea Flower Show history, as well as raising funds for a cancer charity.

The online auction is the culmination of the ‘Memory Tree’ project by Hillier Nurseries, whose charity partner is Wessex Cancer Trust.

Hillier has exhibited at Chelsea for almost a century and has a record-breaking 72 gold medals. With so many amazing memories connected to the show, the ‘Memory Tree’ was created so visitors could share their garden memories too.

At the show, visitors signed tags to hang from the tree and wrote down their most treasured garden memory in a special book with more than 500 memories by the end.

Alan Titchmarsh, a long-running supporter of Wessex Cancer Trust, was the first to sign up, followed by Dame Judi Dench, Joanna Lumley, Piers Morgan, Jo Whiley, Nigel Slater, Matt Baker, Alex Jones, Carol Klein, Anton du Beke, Ainsley Harriott, Nigel Havers and Cerys Matthews.

Wessex Cancer Trust is now auctioning the tags signed by the celebrities, each displayed in a frame, complete with certificate and a copy of the person’s memory.

Aim to raise lots of funds

Alan said: “It was a pleasure to visit the Hillier garden at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show and to kick of the Memory Tree.

“It was nice to take a moment away from the busy show to reflect on my many, many memories of gardening. Fingers crossed the auction raises lots of funds for the Wessex Cancer Trust who I have supported for many years.”

The auction is open now until Monday, October 16. To bid, visit Wessex Cancer Trust’s website at www.wessexcancer.org.uk/celebrity-auction.

Hillier has also launched a digital copy of the Memory Book called ‘Your Garden Memories’, visit www.hillier.co.uk.

Pheasant Acre Plants

RHS London Autumn Garden Show 2017

End-of-season spectacle, October 25-26 (late event October 24)

After the RHS’s decision to have fewer but more spectacular London shows, with proceeds going towards paying for RHS apprentices, this is the first Autumn Garden Show.

It replaces the former Shades of Autumn Show, but will still take place in the RHS Lindley and RHS Lawrence Horticultural Halls.

You’ll have the chance to learn about urban foraging and seasonal growing techniques along with plant-based crafts.

There are talks from Roy Lancaster, Anne Swithinbank, and Nick Bailey, as well as ornithologist Bill Oddie.

Highlights of the show

  • The Autumn Ornamental Plant Competition, open for all to enter.
  • Specially selected nurseries and exhibitors offering seasonal plants, bulbs, and accessories, including The Botanic Nursery, Plantbase, and Harperley Hall Farm Nurseries.
  • Floral exhibitors including Calamazag Nursery, Strictly Daylilies, and The Salutation Garden.
  • In the Lindley Library, see the exhibition ‘Codlings, Costards and Biffins’.
  • Free tours of material from the library collections, including a curator’s introduction to the exhibition.
  • Foodie delights from Chelsea-based foraging restaurant Rabbit, in an indoor foraging forest full of unusual edibles created by Jon Davies.
  • Nick Bailey talks about ‘Unusual Edibles in the City’; Anne Swithinbank discusses ‘Foraging from the Garden’.
  • Floral installations from RHS Floral Artist in Residence 2017 (Electric Daisy Flower Farm).
  • A celebration of seedheads from RHS Gold-medal winning designer Paul-Hervey Brookes, and a ‘remix’ of the Chatsworth Path of Least Resistance Freeform installation.
  • Workshops including floral design, autumn-leaf crafting, and micro-green sowing.
  • Award-winning bonsai collection from Bonsai Kai, the oldest bonsai club in Europe.
  • The Late event has a preview of the show and a complimentary drink for the first 200 guests who book in advance. Free pumpkin carving workshops, delicious food, and live music.

Getting there, etc

  • RHS staff give advice
    RHS staff give advice. Picture; RHS Media Image collection

    Addresses: The Lindley Hall, Elverton Street, London SW1P 2QW; RHS Lawrence Hall, 80 Vincent Square SW1P 2QD.

  • Public transport: St James’s Park underground station or Victoria train station are the closest to the halls – expect a 10-minute walk. Limited on-street parking is available and there is off-street parking in Horseferry Road.
  • Opening hours: October 24 (late), 6pm–9pm; October 25-26 10am-5pm.
  • Ticket prices: Members £5, non-members £6 in advance, £9 on the day.
Roger's premier gold-winniing apple and pear exhibit

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Winners of the Beamish Museum show. Picture; Sue Welford

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Harrogate Autumn Flower Show 2017: plant hunters

Meet Raiders of the Lost Parks

Ben Wray as Reginald Farrer preparing his seed-filled cartridges for his shotgun at Plumpton Rocks, Wetherby Road, Harrogate. Pictures; Charlotte Graham/Harrogate Autumn Flower Show/Guzelian

Plant hunters fought off bandits, pirates and pestilence à la Indiana Jones to bring gardeners prized specimens back from the four corners of the earth.

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One of the explorers in the show’s new exhibition is Reginald Farrer, who travelled from his home in Clapham, North Yorkshire, to Asia in search of new species. Continue reading “Harrogate Autumn Flower Show 2017: plant hunters”