First Time Design Duo Win Best in Show at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show plus other medal winners at this the first ever autumn event
This year saw the RHS Chelsea Flower Show open its doors for the first time in its history in September. A change of season brought some challenges for the RHS Chelsea 2021 winners, from the designers, suppliers and construction teams as they grappled with adapting the planting schemes for the season. Thankfully Autumn brings some beautiful golden hues and for some of the stunning gardens there, medals of that colour too.
Best in show
First time designers Peter Chmiel and Chin-Jung Chen were awarded Best in Show for their Guangzhou China: Guangzhou Garden. The garden received a Gold medal for its design inspired by a philosophy of reconnecting people and nature and highlights the benefits of responsible city planning.
“This is our first time at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and we are absolutely thrilled to have received a Gold Medal, but then to have the super surprise of winning Best in Show, we are so delighted. It’s been a wonderful experience. Thank you to Guangzhou Government for giving us this opportunity to represent the city, ” said the couple.
Of the award winning garden, James Alexander-Sinclair, RHS Chair of Judges commented: “The Guangzhou China: Guangzhou Garden’ is a garden that has real heart and soul to it. The combination of tall airy spaces, babbling waters and layers of cool green plantings cannot fail but to soothe even the most harried soul.”
Best in construction
Best Construction in the Show Garden category went to The Trailfinders’ 50th Anniversary Garden designed by Gold medal winning designer Jonathan Snow and built by Stewart Landscape Construction. The garden is inspired by landscape, plants and culture of the Himalayan foothills and features shelter inspired by its vernacular architecture.
Joining the two award winners in the Show Garden category, The M&G Garden and The Yeo Valley Organic Garden also won Gold Medals, with The Florence Nightingale Garden and Bodmin Jail: 60° East receiving Silver.
Sanctuary and Artisan Gardens
In the smaller garden categories Sarah Eberle receives her 12th Gold medal and adds to her award count receiving the ‘Best in Sanctuary Garden’ award as she builds on her title as the most decorated female designer at RHS Chelsea. The Bible Society: The Psalm 23 Garden built by Landform Consultants also received the Best Construction award in the Sanctuary and Artisan categories.
The Blue Diamond Team received the Best in Artisan Garden award for The Blue Diamond Forge Garden which features a thatched working forge nestled in a natural woodland setting.
In the Great Pavilion, the jewel in the crown of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, South West in Bloom and Stonebarn Landscapes received Best Exhibit amongst a total of 36 Gold Medals.
Raymond Evison achieved his 31st RHS Gold medal for his Clematis cultivars and was also awarded The President’s Award for the first time in his history at the show.
Plant of the Year was also awarded to Cercis canadensis Eternal Flame (‘Nc2016-2’) which was up against a shortlist of 18 plants. The unique colouring of the plant is new and changes throughout the growing season with new growth emerging deep red and then turning to burnt orange and golden yellow as the leaves mature.
Picture Caption: Peter Chmiel and Chin-Jung Chen awarded Best in Show for their Guangzhou China: Guangzhou Garden