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Barbados wins gold at Chelsea

NATASHA BECKLES, [email protected]

Barbados wins gold at Chelsea

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BARBADOS WON ITS 16th gold medal at the Chelsea Flower Show early today.
The theme for this year was The Sailor’s Valentine which the Barbados Horticultural Society (BHS) said represents a truly unique link between Barbados and Britain.
During the 1800’s, when Britannia ruled the waves and Barbados was a major hub in world trade, floods of British sailors poured into Bridgetown in search of fun and frolic. While there they also looked for special souvenirs to take home for their sweethearts, with the Sailor’s Valentine being the most special of all.
Many of the finest examples still in existence today were originally purchased at the New Curiosity Shop, owned by the Belgrave brothers. The classic Sailor’s Valentine is housed in an octagonal mahogany box with a glass cover to protect an intricate, delicate and painstakingly assembled collage of tiny, naturally coloured seashells, often incorporating a floral motif, a heart shape and a verse or message. To portray this, the team from the BHS created four enlarged floral replicas, with each one symmetrically positioned within a 20ft x 20ft formal landscaped area that is itself nestled in an octagonal perimeter to reflect the shape of the boxes.
Each quarter of the garden was separated by four walkways, created with seed-pods from the mahogany tree, converging into a lush tropical interior – resplendent with McArthur palms, dracaenas, cordylines, philodendrons, heliconias, anthuriums, ginger lilies and orchids. The perimeter garden features floral arrangements that reflect the design of the Sailor’s Valentine, adding more symmetry to the overall display. (PR)