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A Gold Medal & Best Exhibit award at Chelsea

Posted on Wednesday 25th May 2016
The Diamond Jubilee Award proudly displayed on our hepatica exhibit at RHS Chelsea

Ashwood has scooped a Gold medal and The Diamond Jubilee Award for an hepatica exhibit at RHS Chelsea Flower Show!

Rachel de Thame with John prodly displaying the Diamond Jubilee bowl

Rachel de Thame with John proudly displaying the Diamond Jubilee bowl

Nursery owner John Massey and the Ashwood team shared an emotional day of tears and laughter on the first day at Chelsea when they discovered that, not only had they achieved a much coveted Gold medal, but they had also been awarded The Diamond Jubilee award for the best exhibit in The Great Pavilion.

This double accolade, combined with it being the first time ever that a single exhibit of hepaticas has been attempted at Chelsea, resulted in a frenzy of media attention. Both Carol Klein and Rachel de Thame visited the stand, interviewing John for the BBC TV Chelsea Flower Show coverage, to be broadcast on Wednesday night’s programme.

All 12 species of hepatica were showcased, together with a range of inter-species hybrids that included some of John’s own exciting introductions. With the help of retired Ashwood plant breeder Philip Baulk and top garden designer Rupert Golby, he created an enchanting semi-woodland landscape that evoked the natural habitat of hepaticas using a soft billowing canopy of Larix kaempferi ‘Diana’, Japanese cherries and dwarf shrubby willows.

For John, just winning a gold medal for his beloved hepaticas is a “dream come true” but “being given the Diamond Jubilee Award for the best exhibit in the Great Pavilion just means so much to me. I  really wanted the display to tug at everyone’s heartstrings and I hope I’ve succeeded in doing just that”.

Certainly, the response from the public has been overwhelming with many generous words of praise and much interest in this beguiling woodland plant that has captured everyone’s heart at Chelsea.

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Read more about growing hepaticas

Hepatica flowers floating in a stone sink

Hepatica flowers floating in a stone sink captivate the crowds at Chelsea

A charming group of Hepatica schlyteri Ashwood Hybrids

A charming group of Hepatica schlyteri Ashwood Hybrids, one of John’s introductions.

 

 

Barbara Cartwright