Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Behind the scenes at Chelsea

Talk: Behind the scenes at Chelsea by Pat Inman 
Dynamic Pat is Secretary of the Hardy Plant Society and has been involved with horticulture for 30 years, leading teams to winning medals at Chelsea.
Their first stand, True Yorkshire Grit – hardy plants for tough places, consisted of strong vertical and horizontal lines symbolising the skyline of contemporary Leeds. A wide variety of plants were displayed to demonstrate some of the challenging situations that hardy plants are capable of thriving in such as Hot, Dry and Stony, Dry and Shady and Wet and Boggy.

We learned how, after 18 months of sourcing funds, submitting the brief and design, they had to loan a huge polytunnel for all the plants (some loaned from gardens of members), cope with the harsh winter of 2009 and transport a load of plants down to Norfolk to get them into flower in time for the show. Form filling was demanding, a rota system had to be devised for passes into the grounds and   every item they would be needing including compost had to be brought with them.  The team overcame problems such as having to work through the night and the heat and humidity causing the verbascum to lose its colour.
Once there, the team had to adhere to all the regulations of the showground from the precise dimensions of the stand, hi viz clothing not to mention having to dissemble the whole display and leave it as they began.  Plants were sold off in the final frenzy but those on loan had to be returned to their owners.
It was a wonderful experience which paid off as the stand was awarded a silver medal.
The team entered again in 2013 when they could draw on past experience and brought along loads of plants to sell off on the final day which made a significant contribution to the expenses.  

Hardy Plants attained Silver Gilt for the Bridge of Time  

Thank you Pat for a wonderful insight into what goes on behind the scenes at Chelsea.

Display Table

 Brian’s chrysanthemum balou

 Cineraria to brighten up the garden

Gill brought examples of plants still flowering in her garden in mid-November including
Primrose, redhornet crab apple, fatsia,  saxifraga fortune, Osteospermum, corydalis, hesperentha and viburnum
 Ann’s Fascicularia Bicolor, a Bromeliad from Chile which has pale blue flowers, attracted a lot of interest from members.
Notice Board
Norma brought her ceramic poppy from the display at the Tower of London.
Carl requested the green tops from plastic milk containers of semi-skimmed milk for charity.
The cleaning blitz of Paxton Hall was effective and the Bring and Buy sale was a financial success which will be repeated next year.
Subscriptions for 2015 has been increased by £1 and can be paid from now.
Friends of Paxton meet regularly on the first Monday of the month from Midday.  An hour or two or your time to help maintain the premises are always welcome.  If another date is more suitable for you, please let us know.  
Dates for your Diary
Next Meeting:  5th December – Yorkshire Wildlife
Christmas Party:  19th December.  This year we will again be taking part in James' Xmas Quiz and we will be making festive displays.