Yorkshire wins the hearts of the public at Chelsea Flower Show
PUBLISHED: 00:00 29 June 2016
Matthew Wilson wins RHS People's Choice Award for Best Show Garden
There was no hiding the disappointment on Matthew Wilson’s face when God’s Own County – A Garden for Yorkshire, which he designed, brought home silver instead of gold at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show. But his spirits were soon lifted when he heard he had won the RHS People’s Choice Award for Best Show Garden – a vote by the public. He dedicated the award to his family via Twitter afterwards when he tweeted: ‘For my family who haven’t seen me for a month. It was worth it. I love you.’
The garden is inspired by the medieval Great East Window at York Minster, and features a panel of stained glass made using the same methods employed in 1405. The planting on the upper level celebrates the woodland gardens in the county, while the central perennial planting is inspired by, and designed to echo, the stained glass at York Minster.
The garden showcases the county’s scenery, heritage, industries and skilled trades people including the crafting of a wooden bench by Simon Thompson Cartwight, the great, great grandson Robert Thompson, the Mouseman of Kilburn.
Ex-servicemen and women at the Help the Heroes Recovery Centre in Catterick were involved in the show garden. They regularly take part in horticultural therapies at Thorpe Perrow Arboretum in Bedale as part of their recovery from trauma suffered on active duty. They worked with Matthew in the creation of the show garden, who said: ‘I have seen first hand the huge effect working with plants and trees on the health and wellbeing of the veterans.’
The first flower show organised by RHS Harlow Carr Gardens attracted more than 12,000 visitors who had the chance to meet garden experts and plant specialists from around the country.
More than 30 specialist nurseries and garden trade stands as well as tented tea rooms were dotted around the 58-acre garden.
There was a programme of expert talks and demonstrations hosted by Martin Fish, well-known garden writer and broadcaster, former Harrogate Flower Show director and now Harlow Carr’s new garden advisor.
Highlights included flower arranging demonstrations by BBC2’s The Big Allotment Challenge judge and award-winning floral designer, Jonathan Moseley, question and answer sessions with members of the RHS Garden Advice Service and talks by a selection of nurseries.
Internationally-recognised landscape artist David Starley was the artist in residence throughout the weekend and will capture the show in a series of oil paintings.