Home Horticultural shows RHS Chelsea: Discovery Zone and Great Pavilion medals

RHS Chelsea: Discovery Zone and Great Pavilion medals

Birmingham City Council's Windrush exhibit. Picture; RHS/Sarah Cuttle
Birmingham City Council's Windrush exhibit. Picture; RHS/Sarah Cuttle

The latest in gardening science and celebrating Windrush

The Discovery Zone returns to the Great Pavilion at RHS Chelsea this year, with diverse exhibits from the increasing threat posed by pests and diseases to the benefits of bees and take-home urban inspiration.

Anniversary stands include celebrating a decade of Help for Heroes, 50 years of Capel Manor College, and the 70th-anniversary of the voyage of the HMT Empire Windrush from the Caribbean to Tilbury Docks.

What to look out for:

The Action Oak Partnership. Picture; RHS/Sarah Cuttle
The Action Oak Partnership. Picture; RHS/Sarah Cuttle

Action for Oaks: The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) highlight the importance of oaks in the British countryside and a new campaign to protect them was launched yesterday (Monday, May 21) at the show.

The Action Oak Partnership – made up of charities, environmental organisations and landowners – aims to raise £15 million for research and monitoring to help safeguard the 121 million oaks in UK woodlands.

Action Oak’s supporters include The Prince of Wales, Dame Judi Dench, and Emma Bridgewater – who has created a bespoke mug which will go on sale later this year to raise money for the project.

Honey money: Bees for Development helps some of the poorest people in the world to keep bees and earn a living by selling honey and beeswax. Examples of the charity’s work will be on display, from beehives in Africa to ‘Bee Houses’ designed for gardens in the UK.

Birmingham City Council's Windrush exhibit. Picture; RHS/Sarah Cuttle
Birmingham City Council’s Windrush exhibit. Picture; RHS/Sarah Cuttle

Plants from Across the Atlantic: Birmingham City Council, who have exhibited in the Great Pavilion with consecutive gold medals since 2011, make their Discovery Zone debut with a display in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the voyage of HMT Empire Windrush from the Caribbean. Working with RHS Ambassador Baroness Floella Benjamin, the exhibit will feature a mixture of plants from both regions and demonstrate the importance of allotments for the different communities.

#plantswork. Picture; RHS/Sarah Cuttle
#plantswork. Picture; RHS/Sarah Cuttle

#Plantswork: Indoor Garden Design’s (IGD) second co-creation with Ikea demonstrates houseplants creatively displayed within a home office environment, providing information on how ‘greening up’ workspaces can improve productivity.

Helpful horticulture: The Force for Good by Sparsholt College aims to highlight the positive experiences horticultural therapy has on individuals going through recovery supported by the Help for Heroes charity.

Force for Good in the Discovery Zone. Picture; RHS/Sarah Cuttle
Force for Good in the Discovery Zone. Picture; RHS/Sarah Cuttle

Great Pavilion Medal winners

  • The Diamond Jubilee Award: Southfield Nurseries
  • The President’s Award: Ashwood Nurseries
  • Best Discovery Exhibit: Sparsholt College Hampshire
  • Best Floral Arrangement Exhibit (1st Session): Jayne Edmonds
Gold Medal winners
  • Alpine Garden Society: Alpines for all aspects
  • Animal & Plant Health Agency: Protect Our Mighty Oaks
  • Ashwood Nurseries: Hellebore hybrids and species in a natural setting
  • Barbados Horticultural Society: Where rum comes from
  • Birmingham City Council: The Windrush Garden
  • Blackmore & Langdon Ltd: Begonias & delphiniums
  • Bloms Bulbs: A display of cut tulips
  • Brighter Blooms: A display of Zantedeschia
  • Brookfield Plants: A display of hostas
  • Capel Manor College: Fifty Shades of Gold
  • Chrysanthemums Direct: Display of cut flower bloom & spray chrysanthemums
  • Cook’s Garden Centre: Hydrangeas – Fit for a Duchess
  • Daisy Roots: Perennials & grasses
  • D’Arcy & Everest: A display of alpines & unusual small perennials
  • David Austin Roses: Formal rose garden
  • Derbyshire Bonsai: Bonsai trees
  • Dibleys Nurseries: 200 years of Streptocarpus cultivation
  • Downderry Nursery: Lavender cultivars
  • Eagle Sweet Peas: A display of sweet peas arranged in baskets
  • Every Picture Tells a Story Ltd: Bromeliads & associated plants
  • Federation of British Bonsai Societies: British-grown bonsai
  • Fernatix: Ferns
  • Flowers From the Farm: Going to Market
  • Hampshire Carnivorous Plants: Sarracenia
  • Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants: 30 Years
  • Harperley Hall Farm Nurseries: Woodland and shade-loving perennials
  • Harts Nursery: A display of lilies
  • Harveys Garden Plants: Shade & woodland perennials
  • Hillier Nurseries: Stihl lnspiration – trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants in a garden setting
  • Hoyland Plant Centre: Cultivation and propagation of Agapanthus, Nerine, & × Amarine
  • Jacques Amand International: Range of bulbous plants & flowers for the woodland & sunny areas
  • Kelnan Plants: Mature restios & other South African flora
  • Kevock Garden Plants: Alpine, bog & woodland plants
  • Marks & Spencer: The Floral Market
  • Mendip Bonsai Studio: A seasonal display of mature bonsai trees & accent plants
  • National Chrysanthemum Society: Chrysanthemums depicting the solar system
  • National Dahlia Collection: Dahlias from the National Plant Collection
  • Orchideengarten: Friendship through orchids, then and now
  • Ottershaw Cacti: Rare and unusual cacti and succulents
  • Palms Exotics: A selection of palms, agaves, yuccas & exotics
  • Peter Beales Roses: Display of old-fashioned & contemporary roses
  • Pheasant Acre Plants: Gladioli
  • Plantagogo: An educational display of Heuchera, × Heucherella & Tiarella
  • Pure Grenada: The Road to Success
  • Roualeyn Fuchsias: A display of fuchsias
  • South African National Biodiversity Institute – Kirstenbosch: Iconic landscapes: where nature and culture meet
  • Southfield Nurseries: Cacti & succulent plants
  • Sparsholt College Hampshire: The Force for Good
  • Thorncroft Clematis: Clematis adorning reclaimed garden structures
  • Tynings Climbers: Hardy & tender climbers
  • Victorian Violas: A selection of hardy perennial summer-flowering violas
  • W & S Lockyer: A traditional Primula auricula theatre
  • W.S. Warmenhoven: Allium, Hippeastrum and Nectaroscordum
  • Wack’s Wicked Plants: A formal display of hardy carnivorous plants
  • Walkers Bulbs @ Taylors: Daffodils
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Mandy Watson is a freelance journalist and an incurable plantaholic. MandyCanUDigIt grew from the tiny seed of a Twitter account into the rainforest of information you see before you. Gardening columnist for the Sunderland Echo, Shields Gazette and Hartlepool Mail and editor of the Teesdale Mercury Magazine. Attracted by anything rebellious, exotic and nerdy, even after all these years. Passionate about northern England and gardens everywhere. Falls over a lot.

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