Students given role at Chelsea

Five horticulture students signed up by Hillier Nurseries to work as part of its show-staging team.

Hillier Nurseries will be giving five horticulture students the opportunity to work as part of its staging team at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

The students are Ben Gray, currently working at the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens; Gillian Goodson, a student at the English Gardening School, Chelsea Physic Garden; fine-art student Jamie Hobbs; Jamie Butterworth, a horticulture student at Askham Bryan and BBC Young Gardener of the Year finalist; and Katja Zerna, a HBGBS-funded student from Germany working at the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens.

They will help put together Hillier's exhibit, which will take the theme of "risk", in the Chelsea Grand Pavilion.

Hillier managing director Andy McIndoe said: "We are passionate about nurturing talent in horticulture and always have been throughout our 149-year history. Staging a Chelsea exhibit on the scale of ours with over 3,500 trees and plants presents a unique horticultural challenge, and the Hillier Chelsea experience has inspired and will continue to inspire generations of horticulturists and Chelsea exhibitors."

The nursery hopes that the long, intensive work days at Chelsea will offer a valuable learning experience, working alongside Chelsea veterans and experts in planting as well as plant preparation, recognition and care.

The Hillier team this year will include McIndoe, Hillier Nurseries director John Hillier, plant buyer and Hillier Magazine editor Pip Bensley and plant-preparation specialist Ricky Dorlay.

Askham Bryan student Butterworth, studying for a level-three extended diploma in general horticulture, said his main career aim is to become a landscape designer.

"The Chelsea Flower Show is one of the main dates of the year for horticulturists and non-gardeners alike and to be able to join Hillier for the build-up is a dream come true," he added.

Gray, horticulture student at the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, said: "I will be interested to see how the risk element is incorporated into the design and what the end result will look like. It's my first time helping set up at Chelsea so it will be great to see behind the scenes and the processes involved in setting up such a big display."

Taking risks Design aims to use dramatic colour combinations

Hillier Nurseries has chosen "risk" as the theme for its RHS Chelsea Flower Show exhibit, which is supported for the second year by specialist Lloyd's insurer Beazley.

The design is intended to explore various risks facing gardeners, such as the weather, soil condition, plant preparation, logistics and time pressures. Hillier also plans to take risks with colour, using less familiar and more dramatic combinations for its exhibit.

Hillier Nurseries managing director and designer of the company's Chelsea exhibit Andy McIndoe said: "Risk is the theme which links the Hillier and Beazley businesses. Beazley insures against risk, based upon its expertise and depth of knowledge. At Hillier Nurseries, we have to engage all our experience and skills to overcome risk."

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