The way it works is that outdoor show gardens, large and small, and the floral exhibits in the three acre Great Pavilion at the Chelsea Flower Show are given a medal according to the standard they’ve achieved. It’s not like the Kentucky or the Epsom Derby when runners are placed First, Second and Third. If you reach a suitably impressive standard, then you get a Gold Medal – simple as that.
Then, from all the Gold Medal winners, the choice is made for the Best Show Garden and, for the floral exhibits in the Great Pavilion, the President’s Award, for the best display.
Three out of the thirteen show gardens gained Gold Medals, and the best of those was judged to be The Daily Telegraph Garden designed by Ulf Nordfjell and built by Crocus. It really is exquisite. Bringing together the Swedish modernity of the designer’s home country and a traditional English feel, clean lines are augmented by rich planting in a creation which brings together the modern and the traditional in a most effective way. It caught my attention when it was half built and that’s usually a good sign
In the Great Pavilion, the first dahlia display seen at Chelsea for many years took the top prize, the President’s Award. Dahlias are enjoying a great resurgence in Britain and Winchester Growers, the holders of the National Collection and creators of this display, are partly responsible.
This ambitious exhibit showed dahlias as cut flowers, as summer annuals and as border plants and also showed the wild species from which modern dahlias were developed. Three new varieties, two bred by John Wheatley who created the display, were also on show.