Guernsey Press

Raymond Evison marks 40 years of Guernsey Clematis with Chelsea gold

Chelsea veteran Raymond Evison has won his 34th Chelsea Flower Show gold medal in a special year for him and his locally-based company.

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Raymond Evison on press day at the Chelsea Flower Show with the Guernsey Clematis display in the Grand Pavillion. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 33248165)

Celebrations had already begun yesterday to mark the 40th anniversary of Guernsey Clematis Nursery’s foundation in 1984.

Both the Lt-Governor Richard Cripwell and Bailiff Sir Richard McMahon visited Guernsey’s exhibit at the world’s most-famous flower show in London.

Two new varieties of clematis were launched at the show.

A large purple flowering plant called ‘Lindsay’ was one, and was named after Lindsay Reid, who worked for Guernsey Clematis for more than 30 years.

The other was the star-shaped, white flowering ‘Guernsey Flute’. A new set of Guernsey postage stamps was also unveiled.

The stamps feature the clematis ‘Diana’s Delight’, named after the former Bailiff’s wife, Lady Rowland.

Sir Geoffrey and Lady Rowland have had a long-established supporting relationship with Guernsey Clematis and also joined in yesterday’s celebrations.

‘It’s wonderful to be able to showcase our clematis to the horticulture world,’ said Raymond Evison.

‘I think our exhibit this year is really the best we’ve ever done.’

Another exhibit attracting much attention at this year’s famous flower show is The Octavia Hill Garden designed by Ann-Marie Powell with a team from Blue Diamond, the Guernsey company with nurseries all over the UK and the Channel Islands.

Octavia Hill was a pioneering social reformer and founder of the National Trust. Blue Diamond’s exhibit is in the Show Garden class and occupying a much sought-after position on Chelsea Flower Show’s Main Avenue. One of the celebrities at Chelsea, Alan Titchmarsh, was given a preview of the Blue Diamond garden by the company’s managing director, Alan Roper. Members of the royal family were expected to visit the Guernsey exhibits last night.

Thousands of plants are on display at the show, which runs until Saturday.

Mr Evison was recently made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to horticulture and to Guernsey.