Clematis display for this weekend only
FOR this weekend only, islanders can catch a glimpse of what was meant to be clematis grower Raymond Evison’s entry at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show.
People will be able to see and enjoy waves of white and blue clematis depicting the sea adorning boats at the Guernsey Clematis Nursery, with varieties such as Kitty, Elodi and Diana’s Delight, named in honour of trained botanist Lady Diana Rowland, on display.
The experienced nurseryman was due to travel over to London with 2,500 clematis, the flower with which he has won gold 30 times and had high hopes that he might have been adding another award to his collection this year. However, due to its cancellation because of Covid-19, more than 1,500 of the plants have been looked after and trained to display here in Guernsey instead.
The Guernsey Clematis Nursery’s founder and vice president of The Royal Horticulture Society, Mr Evison said that although it was a shame not to go to the Chelsea Flower Show, he was really pleased to have the opportunity of having the flowers on display in the island.
‘Being able to have these on display in Guernsey for the people of Guernsey is super,’ he said.
‘The theme is a seashores scene with blue and white clematis depicting the sea and there are five boats full of different coloured flowering clematis, a similar design to what would have been seen at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show.
‘I’ll go back next year and do my best to win another gold but with another theme.’
As part of the theme there is also seaweed from the Guernsey shore, shells, sand, mermaid purses and traditional Guernsey crab pots made of willow loaned by Max Gaudion.
Although there is no fee to see the exhibit, donations are being welcomed, with funds raised to be donated to The Queen’s Nurses and the Guernsey Botanical Trust at the Victorian Walled Kitchen Garden in Saumarez Park.
Plus, there will be varieties of the clematis plants that also should have been at the Chelsea Flower Show on sale in limited numbers for £15 each. £5 from each sale will be donated between the charities.
The Queen’s Nurses’ Alison Place said they were very appreciative to have been chosen as one of the charities because the community nurses had been really busy and had had to adapt to the current situation.
‘Being part of this helps raise awareness of what we do. We’ll use donations towards additional training,’ she said.
‘It’s really nice to be involved, the flowers look amazing.’
The Victorian Walled Kitchen Garden’s Cathy Morgan said she had always wanted to go to the Chelsea Flower Show, so it was fantastic to see what would have been there.
‘This is real treat to see it in action and any money raised will go to our gatehouse and learning centre appeal.
Also in attendance were former Guernsey Bailiff Sir Geoffrey and Lady Rowland, who helped stage the exhibit as they are normally part of the Chelsea Flower Show team and Lady Corder, the wife of the Lt-Governor, who officially opened the exhibit.
n The clematis display will be open to the public at The Guernsey Clematis Nursery site at Braye Vineries today and tomorrow from 10am-4pm on each day and strict social distancing regulations will be complied with.