Chelsea Flower Show: Opening Day
The Royal family has come and gone, and now the Chelsea Flower Show is in full swing. Arguably the most prestigious horticultural show in the world, the competition for awards for best gardens is brutal. Here are the newly announced treehugger medals, all in the sustainable gardens category. Most Overtly Political Garden: Amnesty International Garden for Human Rights, complete with protest signs (pictured). It is meant to be transported to the roof of their offices so there are drought-resistant olive and eucalyptus trees to provide shade and wind protection, sedums on the ground and a rusted steel lattice-carved oak tree sculpture of their symbol (a lit candle) surrounded by barbed wire. The Ferdinand the Bull Award, named after that sweet bull who just wanted to lie under the cork tree, goes to the Suber Garden which celebrates cork, a sustainable product that is harvested without cutting down the trees. The garden has a cork tree in the centre, a cork bench, plants attractive to wild life and an orange wall, the colour of the stripped trunk of the tree. Drunk On Life Award: the Fetzer Sustainable Winery Garden, a glorious excess of wildflowers of every colour and shape, with a backdrop of a windmill and wine shed, made out of recycled barn wood. The How Did This Happen? Award to Patio Povera!, a roof garden created by a 77 year old man who had no sponsors, had never grown a garden and never been to Chelsea (pictured). Anthony Samuelson, the eccentric of the show, created it out of found and recycled objects from garage sales, including empty suitcases, toy trucks and vacuum cleaners planted with flowers, old t.v. sets on mannequins, rubber chickens, bird cages and ketchup bottles. The Outer Space Award: 600 Days with Bradstone is a depiction of a garden on Mars (pictured). It is the product of 8 years of scientific research, and uses plants that could be grown on Mars, including coffee, wheat and olive oil for diet and opium, poppy and aloha for medicinal needs. There is steam coming out of the ground, lots of rock and many succulents.
The Concrete Never Looked So Good Award goes to Marshalls Sustainability Garden, with solar panels, grey water recycling, ethically sourced concrete from India and wildlife habitats.
And lastly the Naked Garden Award, or should that be Sexiest Garden Award: