Irish scoop awards at Chelsea show
THIS YEAR’S Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show has been a vintage one for Irish exhibitors who by early this week had already brought home silver-gilt, silver and bronze medals, with Diarmuid Gavin’s Westland Magical Garden also winning the award for “Most Creative Show Garden”.
Houses, Castles Gardens of Ireland and Wicklow-based artist Bianco Divito were also awarded certificates of commendation for their stands’ excellence.
Yesterday morning, young Meath-based florist Jenny Murphy capped it off by winning a much-coveted Chelsea gold medal as well as the “Best In Show” award for her colourful, contemporary take on a floral chandelier suitable for Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee dinner. Both awards were handed out to the Dunshaughlin woman after judges decided her exhibit was the best in its class.
Ms Murphy was “overwhelmed” with her success. Her award-winning floral artwork is on display until the show ends tomorrow evening and is inspired by the imperial state crown which Queen Elizabeth wore at her coronation in 1952. It was decorated with diamonds, pearls, sapphires, emeralds and rubies.
About 100 hours work went into the arrangement, which uses more than 150 deep-red roses, 100 purple Canna lilies and over 80 orchids as well as carnations and chrysanthemums. It incorporates crystal beads, 250m of crochet wire and 60 tiny gold crowns ifrom the Netherlands (one for each year of the queen’s reign).
At home the florist works with her mother, Moira, whom she credits as her inspiration. “She’s the person I turn to when things aren’t working out. She’s always there with an honest opinion and some good advice.”
Asked whether the award might encourage her to work abroad, Ms Murphy answered that she had not had time to think about it, although her sponsored trip to the symposium of the American Institute of Floral Designers in Miami will go ahead as planned in July.