IW Observer’s Darren wins gold at Chelsea Flower Show

IW Observer gardening columnist Darren Everest has won his first RHS Chelsea Flower Show Gold Medal.

Darren, along with his wife, Dawn, exhibited a colourful display of sweet peas, which drew praise from the judges and visitors alike.

The display included 22 individual varieties in a range of colours. From pastel shades of pink, lilac and blue to more vibrant colours such as cerise pink, bright reds, oranges and deep purple.

The centrepiece was a wedding themed display including a three-tiered cake, champagne glasses, a hat and handbag, all adorned with a mixed array of colours. An archway draped in ribbon with yet more sweet pea posies and a large arrangement on a pedestal finished off the eye-catching display.

Darren said: “I can’t quite believe it. Two weeks ago I didn’t have any blooms out at all and I didn’t think they would make it in time. Fortunately the sun finally began to shine and by some stroke of luck they just about opened in time.

“Had the show been two days earlier I wouldn’t have had enough blooms. It was a little too close for comfort. Gardening is supposed to be good for one’s mental health, but believe me, growing for Chelsea certainly isn’t!”

Not only were the judges impressed but also the tens of thousands of visitors to the show, many of whom were from overseas.

Darren added: “What I find so incredible is that the seeds that I have produced from the plants that I have grown, from my garden on the Isle of Wight, are now destined to be grown in countries far and wide across the planet, that’s incredible!”