Clematis nursery’s Chelsea entry finds audience online

THE Chelsea Flower Show may have been cancelled, but clematis breeder Raymond Evison has still had a chance to show off his sea-themed entry online.

Raymond Evison in the video for the virtual Chelsea Flower Show. (28291033)
Raymond Evison in the video for the virtual Chelsea Flower Show. (28291033)

Last year the experienced nurseryman won his 30th gold medal at the internationally famous event and had high hopes that he might have been adding another award to his collection this year.

But coronavirus forced the cancellation of the show.

The RHS wanted to ensure people still had a chance to see the months of hard work that Chelsea growers had put into this year’s entries.

Guernsey Clematis Nursery founder Mr Evison stars in an eight-minute video about clematis, which is now on the RHS website.

Normally Mr Evison would have been in the UK last week setting up his entry, ready for this week’s show.

‘It has been disappointing as we have been planning since June last year and there are 2,500 plants grown for Chelsea this year,’ he said.

This year would have seen a sea-theme for the entry, with people walking through a cloud of blue and white clematis flowers. Sand, pebbles and shells would also have gone to the show to give people an authentic Guernsey scene.

‘Chelsea is usually fantastic publicity worldwide,’ Mr Evison said.

‘There is primetime television coverage and it is known about around the world.’

He said the online video for Chelsea had been well received and he had been given lots of positive feedback. But one drawback has been that Mr Evison has not been able to show the Queen around the exhibit, as he has done many times before.

‘We are extremely lucky that she has visited our exhibit many times,’ he said.

‘She is such an amazing lady.’

While Guernsey garden centres have until recently been closed, the nursery has still been busy. Plants were still being sent to the United States, where garden centres never closed. There is also a busy Dutch market, where a relaxed lockdown saw its garden centres reopen.

While this year’s display will not be seen at Chelsea, Mr Evison said he was looking at options for displaying it in Guernsey. And he has pledged to return to the famous London show next year.

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