Rotherview Nursery, Hastings are celebrating after being awarded a Gold Medal at The Chelsea Flower Show - The Royal Horticultural Society’s top award,
Last August Rotherview owners Ray and Wendy Bates were invited to apply to the Chelsea Flower Show, which was held at the Royal Chelsea Hospital Chelsea, May 24-28. Then, in December, they heard that their design for an exhibit in the Grand Floral Pavilion had been accepted.
Wendy says a lot of thought went into the design. “The exhibit featured our unique troughs,” she said. “Manufactured in the nursery from old fish boxes and a mixture of sand, cement and recycled compost.
“The troughs were planted with a range of specialist alpine plants and were linked into a crevice feature of Welsh Slate which was planted with Alpines from all continents except for Antarctica!”
Wendy and Ray, along with their plant area manager, Chris Brook, selected plants for the show in January and separated them in the nursery. They also potted cuttings and seedlings in a series of batches to ensure the plants were looking their best on judging day.
Wendy says the big build commenced on the Thursday prior to Monday judging when the slate was delivered to the show site. “Ray and local landscaper Peter Delves of PD Gardens off-loaded it then built and planted the crevice features on Friday.
“I arrived with the troughs later in the day and we checked them for quality. On Saturday the last of the plants and materials arrived and a four person team of myself, Ray and Chris and Steve Brook completed the stand by Sunday evening.”
Rotherview’s design was exhibited under the Alpine Judging Committee Section. A final check of the design along with water was given at 6am on Monday and then, Wendy says, the nervous wait began. “Ray arrived on site on Tuesday at 7.30am and found out the good news! The Gold completes a set of Gold Medals for the nursery team.
“We have been awarded Gold at all the major Royal Horticultural Society flower shows.
“The whole team worked exceptionally hard to achieve the ultimate horticultural accolade and we are extremely proud of them.
“Hopefully we will be invited back next year and can repeat our success.”