October 21st, 2016

Chelsea Flower Show garden coming home to Royal Leamington Spa

Updated: 11:21 am, Jul 14, 2015

THE ROYAL Leamington Spa inspired garden created for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show is coming home for townspeople to enjoy.

A year on from winning a highly coveted Silver medal at the world’s most famous flower show, the exhibit celebrating Leamington’s horticultural and Regency heritage is being brought back to life in Jephson Gardens.

After weeks of planning and planting, the garden will be officially unveiled on Thursday July 30 with representatives from more than 85 local businesses that helped to take the garden to Chelsea and bring it back again invited to attend.

It will then be open to the public, making its first appearance in time for the Art in the Park Festival which is expected to attract around 2,000 visitors to Jephson Gardens over the weekend of August 1 and 2.

The ambitious project to showcase the town at Chelsea was managed by BID Leamington, which went on to scoop another national accolade for the initiative from British BIDs.

Stephanie Kerr, executive director of BID Leamington, said: “Winning a medal at Chelsea Flower Show was the ultimate prize but our ambition didn’t end there as it was always our intention to bring the garden back to Leamington for the whole town to enjoy.

“None of this could have been achieved without the tremendous support of so many local people and businesses. Returning the garden to its home town and creating a lasting legacy in Jephson Gardens has been a huge community effort with volunteers helping out.

“The homecoming celebration on July 30 will give us the chance to thank everyone who has contributed so much, and to Warwick District Council for having the garden in Jephson Gardens and for preparing the site for its installation, before it is opened to the public.”

Local garden designer Cathy Smith, of The Gardensmith, has interpreted the original design by local award-winning florist Sarah Horne and garden designer Debbie Cooke to meet the planting needs of an outdoor location.

Sarah, of Sarah Horne Flowers, will be adding fresh floral elements to the hanging pods and table and chairs which form a key part of the design for the unveiling.

The ornate arbour enclosure made by local metal sculptor Clive Duncan Sanderson is retained as the key sculptural focus of the garden. Its design picks up elements of the metal work seen throughout the town and echoes the Regency past.

Stephanie added: “The planting scheme reflects the original design celebrating the town’s landscapes. It moves from a highly indulgent area with lots of roses through to a natural space reminiscent of the River Leam and on to more textured, exotic looking plants to reflect the diversity of the Temperate House in Jephson Gardens.

“Jephson Gardens is itself an RHS winner having been awarded the title of ‘Best Park in Britain’ in 2004 and so it seems fitting a decade on for the RHS Chelsea Silver medal winning garden to be given a home here.

“Jephson Gardens is famous for its beautiful floral displays enjoyed by thousands of visitors each year and we hope the Chelsea garden will be a welcome addition alongside two other new exhibits of a community bee hive and sensory garden.”