RHS Chelsea ‘perfect showcase for clematis’

GUERNSEY’S Raymond Evison has slightly turned the clock back with his exhibit at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, which opens to the public today.

Raymond Evison and his clematis display at the delayed Chelsea Flower Show 2021. (Picture By Bruce Parker, 30004888)
Raymond Evison and his clematis display at the delayed Chelsea Flower Show 2021. (Picture By Bruce Parker, 30004888)

His seaside themes and other striking designs of the recent past at Chelsea have given way to a more formal flower cascade, the like of which has earned him so many of those coveted Chelsea gold medals over the past decades.

This year, the exhibit has been created with 2,500 plants displayed in containers, borders and trellises.

It has already attracted the lenses of photographers from a number of the UK’s newspapers.

The exhibit, in Chelsea’s Great Pavilion, will be seen and admired by thousands over the coming week including, last evening, by members of the royal family.

It is set in turf with 10 wooden containers, made especially for the occasion by Guernsey Prison as part of their Creative Learning In Prison programme (Clip).

More than 40 different cultivars are on display, including a new clematis launched at the show, The Duchess of Cornwall, an eye-catching plant with large deep purple blue flowers and creamy yellow centres.

This year’s event, traditionally held at the end of May, has been moved to September following earlier Covid restrictions. While the move has proved quite a challenge to some of Chelsea’s well-known exhibitors, others have welcomed the opportunities that a change of season has brought.

‘It’s been a great opportunity to showcase our clematis, all bred in Guernsey,’ Mr Evison said.

‘This September show proves that their repeat flowering habit is genuine and flowering goes on well into the autumn.’

The Guernsey exhibit was being much admired by some of Mr Evison’s fellow exhibitors at Chelsea.

‘That,’ said Mr Evison ‘is the greatest of compliments.’

With 30 gold medals to his credit in the past, Mr Evison will learn this morning whether or not he has notched up yet another.

The show runs until Sunday.

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