by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada
- Grenada wins 14th RHS Chelsea Gold
- Theme “The Road to Success”
The Grenada Chelsea Flower Show team led by Catherine John again celebrates another gold medal at the at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018. Their flower exhibit “The Road to Success” incorporated traditional board buses within the design, and copped Grenada’s 14th Gold medal. Already the team is looking forward to next year’s event and has already begun preparation. NOW Grenada understands that this year’s theme was the brainchild of John.
John Criswick, who operates the St Rose Nursery & Garden at La Mode St George is particularly pleased with this year’s presentation despite the challenge each year to conceptualise a design. He is among contributors to the exhibition each year. “It’s a wonderful theme; very innovative because once again like last year we got excellent in all categories. Now the moment we have finished our 2018 event it’s time to start planning next year’s event. Of course, we haven’t thought of a theme yet, it’s getting more and more difficult every year to think of a theme, but we will and hopefully again we can receive another gold.”
Being the main supplier of foliage for the exhibit, Criswick’s contribution to this year’s event was the addition of foliage including for the first time the introduction of yucca plants. Yucca is a genus of perennial shrubs and trees in the family Asparagaceae, subfamily Agavoideae used for medicinal purposes by herbalists.
Grenada was not the only Caribbean country to receive a gold at the flower show in 2018; Barbados also received the prestigious Gold Award. The display featured colourful blooms from across Barbados under the theme “Where rum comes from” a nod to the rum and sugar heritage of the island.
Criswick explained that the competition is not like the Olympics where only one person can win gold. “The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) awards a medal to anything they feel merits a gold award and if they don’t think it’s good enough, they will reward a silver gilt medal and after that, a silver and then a bronze medal, but even receiving a bronze medal in this event is still a plus.”
Criswick says preparing for this year didn’t come without transportation challenges. “We had a few problems. In the past few years reports have come back that a lot of the flowers were blackened and soft and had be has thrown away immediately and we were puzzled to know the reasons. We were fortunate enough to receive a refrigerated trunk from Spice Island Fish House and we were thinking that might have caused the problem, but we later found we were wrong, so we ruled that out. But what we are now believing is the holding area on the British Airways flight – the temperature drops so low that it damages the plants, so we spoke with the authorities and I now await a report from the team as to whether any plants were damaged this year.”
In 2017, Grenada was awarded its 13th gold medal for the exhibit titled “Historical Botanical Gardens” which was described by judges as the best Grenada exhibit they had ever judged.