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Blossoming at Chelsea Flower Show
Months of hard work came to fruition at Chelsea this week for Oxfordshire gardeners, sculptors and designers.
The RHS Chelsea Flower Show finishes tomorrow and many of the county’s residents displayed their gardening talent at the prestigious annual event.
Andy Edwards is the programme co-ordinator of East Oxford-based charity Architecture Sans Frontieres, which links community and international development issues to architecture.
It put together an exhibit to inspire people to use their homes and communities for planting called Open Doors, Open Your Eyes, with help from Cripley Meadow allotment holders.
But the 27-year-old nearly didn’t make it to Chelsea with the charity’s exhibit, an urban space filled with plants and vegetables, because of illness.
He said: “I am pretty relieved to have made it. In the end it came together very well.
“Our exhibit has been very well received and we won a Silver Lindley medal.”
There may be plenty of flower power at the show, but it’s not just plants which make the event so colourful.
Hamish Mackie, 38, has been working as a sculptor for 16 years, and was at the RHS event for the fourth time.
His work, which he moulds at his studio in Hook Norton, is inspired by his travels around Africa and features animals made from bronze and silver.
He said: “It’s been really good this year. I have made a few sales and got some commissions too.
“The weather has been fantastic. I really think the sun brings more people out and gets everyone in the mood.”
Watlington-based pavilion company Crown Pavilions was given an endorsement from Sir Bruce Forsyth when the veteran TV presenter was interviewed by Alan Titchmarsh in its latest creation.
Luke Dejahang, director of Crown Pavilions, said: “It was a phenomenal day.”
The company creates gazebos and garden buildings and its latest creation was co-designed by the Duchess of Rutland.
Unveiled at the show, the Crown Duchess pavilion takes its inspiration from Belvoir Castle.
Mr Dejahang added: “We met the Duchess of Rutland last year, and she invited us to Belvoir Castle.
“She is an advocate of manufacturing products in the UK, and she really liked our concept.
“She wanted to have something to entertain her guests in outside at the castle, and we came up with the idea of the Crown Duchess.
“We’re really pleased with the reception. Everyone says it’s great to have a product like this that is made in Oxfordshire.”
Also at the show was 45-year-old David Goode, from Iffley, who has previously worked as a portrait sculptor for Madame Tussauds.
He said: “I have been doing the Chelsea Flower Show for 15 years now, it’s the only exhibition I do.
“It’s been absolutely great today, I’ve sold some work and met some really interesting people.”
Grove-based Formula One team Williams won a gold medal for its display featuring a topiary car and pit crew.
The display, called The Williams F1 Story, was designed by tree nursery King and Co to mark the team’s 35-year history.
Sir Frank Williams, who founded the team which won the Spanish Grand Prix recently, attended the show on Monday.