Chelsea Gold for Shropshire gardeners

PUBLISHED: 12:39 20 July 2010 | UPDATED: 17:34 20 February 2013

Chelsea Gold for Shropshire gardeners

Chelsea Gold for Shropshire gardeners

Debbie Graham spoke to Shropshire gardeners growing fields of Gold

Riding High

Debbie Graham spoke to Shropshire gardeners growing fields of Gold

Winning at Chelsea this year gave Nick and Christine Ffoulkes Jones of Hall Farm Nursery, Kinnerley, near Oswestry an impressive 46th RHS Gold. Not a bad tally by anyones standards and this one was all the more special as it was won in conjunction with the charity Riding for the Disabled. The idea for the entry came from the Perry Riding and Driving Group, based at Yeaton, Shrewsbury, with whom Nick is a carriage driver.
Our local group knew that we had exhibited at Chelsea before and so put forward the idea of us doing Riding for the Disableds 40th anniversary stand there, said Christine.

The poem I Saw A Child speaks of a child who can't walk, riding a horse through a field of daisies and that was the inspiration for the whole exhibit. So we then grew a lovely meadow full of daisies and it came to perfection just in time for the show, which was a bit of good luck.

To make the garden work they needed a horse and rider so they went, cap in hand, to the fine art sculptor Robert Till from Gloucestershire. He said he would make us whatever we wanted, said Christine and true to his word created a beautiful wire sculpture of a pony and rider.

The garden captured the image of a child riding a pony through tranquil, English countryside, at one with each other and with nature. Many people commented on the emotion and spirituality it evoked and that was what we set out to do, said Christine.

Chief Executive of RDA, Ed Bracher said: We are delighted that Nick, Christine and Rupert helped us celebrate our 40th anniversary in this way. Having the opportunity to raise awareness of our work at such a prestigious event was a huge bonus.

The continuing success of RDA is dependent on voluntary help and donations.

To find out more about the RDA tel: 0845 658 1082, or go to:

An eye for irises

Edgebolton, Shawbury, was also awarded a Chelsea Gold for a beautiful display of more than 40 varieties of iris.

We would love to show lots of other plants, especially peonies, said Claire. But as Chelsea is in May it is the only show where we can exhibit these fabulous Bearded Irises of which we are National Collection holders.

The exhibition was planned last June, the irises were potted up in September and finally, in March, were taken into a greenhouse to be forced into flower.

This was my first Gold medal, and we delighted to be awarded it, she said. I have been showing at Chelsea, either as a part of the David Austin Roses team or as a sole exhibitor since 1983.

Claire Austin Hardy Plants, tel: 01939 251173
Farm Nursery, tel: 01691 682135

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