Double gold for Kent Chelsea Flower Show gardeners
Jo Thompson's Thrive
Garden at the Chelsea Flower Show
Two Kent garden designers are celebrating golds at the world's
most prestigious flower show.
Roger Platts and Jo Thompson each scooped the top honour at the
Chelsea Flower Show this year - as
But the winning formula for both was the fact their plants were
loved, nurtured and selected in the Garden of England rather than
shipped in from a distant supplier.
For Jo Thompson the top medal win led to tears of joy - at
only her second outing at RHS
Chelsea, with her Unexpected Garden for horticulture charity
She said: "I really can't believe it. The feedback from the
judges was that 'there was nothing they could fault'. Can you
Jo only got into gardening in 2005. She moved from London to
Marden and left a 10-year teaching career to bring up her children.
It was during this time she took up a garden design course.
She said: "Once I was living in Kent, I suddenly realised this
was what I wanted to do."
She is not afraid to experiment with new plants and colour
combinations and watches her plants grow, mostly in Kent,
throughout the build-up to the show.
Roger Platts, Kent's second gold medal winner, grew plants in
his Edenbridge nursery for Jo.
Roger Platts M&G
Garden which won a gold medal
This nurturing of plants has proved to be the ace this year.
While so many designers in the main avenues were having plants
delivered by suppliers at the weekend, Jo and Roger had both more
or less finished their gardens having brought in about 80 per cent
of their own plants.
Roger lives on site at his nursery so he had seen his plants
developing every day and selected the very best from a choice of
Nothing was left to chance at his Celebration of Traditional
garden - which was filled with roses, delphinium and lavender.
The quintessentially English, romantic scheme defied five
months' hard graft of bringing the plants through the long, cold
The judges did not miss the extra sparkle that comes from
quality planting against the 'just bought over the phone and
delivered to Chelsea ' specimens.
Roger was delighted to pick up his first gold but he explained
he always kept his eye on the plants, rather than the medals.
- Roger and his wife Jeanette will be opening their Leydens
garden, at Edenbridge, for the National Gardens Scheme in August.
Visit the National Gardens Scheme website for
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