The People’s Plants, housed within Discovery, inside The Great Pavilion, represents the story of Plant Heritage’s National Plant Collections: Past, Present and Future and is a showcase for the range of plants held within the charity’s Plant Guardians, National Plant Collections. A team of horticulture students designed and created The People’s Plants, led by horticultural expert Chris Bird.
The People’s Plants, created by a team of 15 horticulture students, told the story of Plant Heritage’s ‘past’ with the garden highlighting groups of plants that have been traditionally collected such as Rosa, Hosta and Salvia. The current work of Plant Heritage and its members was the focus for the ‘present’, with National Collections from Hampshire sites providing a snapshot of the organisation, their Threatened Plants Project and Plant Guardian Scheme. Finally, for the ‘future’ the College garden highlights potential new Collections including the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Apples and some of the most wanted genera, not currently represented in National Collections.
Sarah Quarterman, Plant Heritage chief executive, said: "We are thrilled to be the sponsor of Sparsholt College’s display this year and for The People’s Plants to receive a Silver Medal today is the icing on the cake! It has been an exciting experience partnering with the team of students and Chris Bird, and we are grateful for all their hard work and efforts into bringing our plant cultivation and conservation story to life. We hope visitors to the Chelsea Flower Show make it a priority to see this spectacular and innovative plant display and are encouraged to find out more about how anyone with a passion for plants can become involved in our plant cultivation and conservation schemes."
Lecturer Chris Bird, who led the student team said: "We are thrilled and proud to have been awarded a Silver medal at RHS Chelsea which is this country’s most prestigious flower show. We were keen to tell the Plant Heritage story and hope our garden will inspire others to become involved in the conservation of cultivated plants. For our students, exhibiting here culminates two years of study during which they have acquired the skills and know-how for a career in the horticulture industry. And whether embarking on their professional careers or progressing on to the Degree course they each have an RHS Chelsea Silver medal as testimony to their talents."
Also, inside The Great Pavilion, 20 are current Plant Heritage National Plant Collection Holders won medals.
Gold – Ashwood Nurseries (GPD/168), Brookfield Plants (GPF/195), David Austin Roses Ltd (GPE/179), Dibleys Nurseries (GPB/124), Downderry Nursery (GPE/177), Every Picture Tells a Story (GPD/164), Fibrex Nurseries (GPF/207), Hewitt-Cooper Carnivorous Plants (GPF/194), Hoyland Plant Centre (GPD/154), National Dahlia Collection (GPD/158), Peter Beales Roses (GPD/159), Plantagogo.com (GPF/206), The Botanic Nursery (GPD/165), Tynings Climbers (GPD/153).
Silver-Gilt – Floyds Climbers & Clematis (GPG/213), Hogarth Hostas (GPB/121), RBG Edinburgh (part of the display of the RHS Rhododendron, Camellia & Magnolia Group) (GPB/218), T3 Plants - Wall End Nursery (GPD/162).
Silver – Bowdens (GPG/210), Claire Austin Hardy Plants (GPF/202).