The Chelsea Flower Show is without doubt one of the most famous flower shows in the world. This year, I had the chance to work with commercial and amateur gorwers of carnivorous plants to put together an educational stand for The Carnivorous Plant Society, a registered conservation and education charity.
This was the most biodiverse carnivorous plant display ever seen at Chelsea Flower Show. The major genera were represented: Utricularia, Drosera, Nepenthes, Pinguicula, Sarracenia, Genlisea, Brocchinia, Catopsis, Darlingtonia and Dionaea were all represented. We had high hopes for a medal!
Plants for the stand were brought together on Saturday morning from the various growers who contributed and five of us worked hard through Saturday to put the display together. We had roughly twice the number of plants needed to fill the stand which allowed us to pick and choose the better specimens. Chelsea is also a time for chance meetings; our recent MSc Plant Diversity graduate Lucy Wenger was helping out on the lily stand immediately next to us – it was good to catch up on news.
This year the venus flytraps (Dionaea muscipula) were is full bloom. You can see the stand with a commentary on my rather fuzzy Periscope video – the light was failing and my phone lens is a bit chipped.
Saturday over, Sunday another CPS member came to water and check the plants and then judging on Monday. There is a lot of bustle on Monday because it’s day commercial stands do a lot of publicity, the day the Royal family attend and many celebrities. The judges walk round on Monday afternoon but stand holders do not hear how they have done until Tuesday morning when the medals are placed and the list of winners published. Did we get a medal – yes! Great excitement at winning a Silver gilt medal (Thats higher than a silver and just below a gold). We all had a feeling of a job well done.