Ex-singer Kim strikes gold in garden!

It was her debut Chelsea Flower Show, but pop singer-turned horticulturalist Kim Wilde blossomed with the best of them. And staff at Capel Manor Horticulture and Environmental Centre in Waltham Cross were chuffed to bits that their former garden design student had scooped a prestigious gold medal.
Brambles Garden Landscapes in Broxbourne were also delighted to be part of the team that built Kim’s Cumbrian Fellside Garden. The company constructed the walls, paving and water feature at the garden, which won the top award in the courtyard garden category.
Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) head of shows development Bob Sweet said Kim’s garden was a “little piece of Cumbria”. It delighted the judges, who felt that “attention to detail and diligent research had created an exquisite garden”.
Kim, a former student of Presdales in Ware whose parents-in-law live in Cumbria, said she was “ecstatic” when the judges awarded her and co-designer Richard Lucas a gold medal and best courtyard garden. She said: “I’m absolutely delighted with my achievement. I visit Chelsea Flower Show every year and it really is a dream come true for me to have won gold for my first show garden here.”

Delighted Richard Baxter, proprietor of Brambles Garden Landscapes in White Stubbs Lane, Broxbourne, said they had used Cumbrian slate in the construction of the garden. “It’s our eighth gold medal!” said Richard. Two garden design students at Capel Manor College in Bullsmoor Lane – Fiona Cazaly and Jennifer Gray – scooped a bronze flora award for their lovely Garden of the Night.

And the college’s patron, the Duchess of Devonshire, was there to see Capel Manor win the silver-gilt Lindley award for Amos Perry’s Legacy of Plants stand in the Lifelong Learning in the Garden class. Amos Perry (1894-45) was a famous plant breeder in Enfield – and Capel, along with the National Council for the Conservation of Plants and Gardens (NCCPG), put together the award-winning display.

Cheshunt-based Rentokil Tropical Plants won a silver-gilt flora medal after its eye-catching design impressed the judges in the Great Pavilion. The display comprised more than 150 plants from around the world, set in black graphite containers.
Branch manager Chris Brown said: “We have a variety of contracts in the Cheshunt area, including shopping centres, large and small office premises, banks and hotels. The award gives us the edge over our competitors.”

And David Rhodes, of Office Greenery in Nursery Road, Nazeing, said he was thrilled to pick up a silver-gilt flora award with its stunning begonia display. “We specialise in begonias,” he said. Erik De Maeijer, 36, manager of the former Brynfield Nursery – now renamed In-Ex – in Goffs Lane, Goffs Oak, and his wife Jane Hudson, 33, scooped a silver flora award in the show gardens category with their symbolic Cancer Research UK stunner. Their Chelsea garden has bright flowers surrounding a central unfurling spiral of carved granite stepping stones. The garden also boasts an oil and light installation and visitors can sit on granite seats and view the display created by oil bubbles and lights.