Royal presentation!

We are thrilled to announce that our exhibit of plants at the Devon County Show has not only won a large gold medal but also the Midmay-White Perpetual Challenge Trophy for the best exhibit in the Flower and Garden Show.

Trophy presented by Sophie, Countess of Wessex.

To make this accolade even more special, our Devon County Show team led by Gary, were presented with the Trophy by Sophie, Countess of Wessex today (Friday 19th May 2017).

Sophie, Countess of Wessex presenting Gary Allum with the trophy

Preparation for this year’s show display started last May by ensuring we held back large specimens of plants from sale and kept an extra close eye on their growth in our greenhouses. This group of plants were added to over the following months and show labels prepared for each variety. Gary Allum, our propagation supervisor, oversaw all this preparation and led the design of this year’s display.

Whilst we always go to the show with a design in mind, the final construction is always quite fluid and can involve many last minute changes!

Building an award winning display

On Monday 15th May, we take out all the plants to the show ground. This year we had 18 Danish trolleys full plus large trees and shrubs that have to be carried by hand. We also had a bug hotel to construct, water fountain to install and a garden bench.

How it all begins...18 trolleys of plants

18 trolleys of plants and materials

On Tuesday 16th May, the construction team (Gary plus company director Tammy Falloon and James Sellick, Clyst St Mary garden centre shop supervisor) set to work. The initial stage involves positioning the tallest plants in position we then work our way out ensuring that we mix leaf textures, avoid colour clashes and generally working in harmony to allow each plant to be showcased beautifully. Whilst the final effect looks like an established garden the reality is these are plants in pots stacked on pots and boxes and sacking.

Step one: positioning large anchor points first like trees.

On Wednesday 17th May, the team finish positioning the plants before labelling every variety. We then scan the plants, removing any damaged leaves or dead flowers and covering any visible pot with moss. We run a border of bark wood around the edge to disguise the pots and then rope off the display ready for judging in the morning.

By the end of Tuesday we have most plants in place

Thursday 18th May and the show opens! We find out what medal we have won around mid morning and it was only in the afternoon that we were told we won the trophy. We love exhibiting at the show and meeting visitors.

James, Tammy and Gary who constructed our Devon County Show display.

Our Devon County Show team

Still time to come and see us on the final day of the show

If you are able to visit our stand, this year then please do. You will get to see our trophy winning display as well as enter our competition to win £50 of St Bridget Gift Vouchers. Additionally we are giving out money saving coupons to use in our garden centres and you can buy plants from our stand. At 4pm on Saturday 20th we start the dismantling process and we are permitted to sell off the display plants. We use a ticket system for this where by the first ticket holder gets first choice of plants. The plants are sold at reduced prices so it’s worth grabbing a bargain.

The “bench” side of our display.

Close up of the plants

We hope to see you there tomorrow!