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Jean Vernon

Jean Vernon Garden Writer/Feature Writer West Country

  • Date Joined: 01 Jul 2008

Recent Comments

In praise of Plasticine

Posted by Jean Vernon on 19 May 2009 at 01:54 PM

 I hear that James May's Plasticine Paradise has won him the coveted award of a 'Special Letter'. Would that be a 'P' for plasticine or a 'D' for don't do it again.

 Sure it's controversial, of course there's self promotion there and despite James' claims that it is botanically correct (sorry James but it really isn't!), it has created a real stir for the show.

 I wouldn't want to see another Plasticine garden for a few years, not that I have anything against Plasticine, but it is a Chelsea 1st. It's great for the kids and lets face it, it is a garden that even a Top Gear presenter could care for adequately.

 Fortunately celebs and visitors to the show have had plenty of praise for this Plasticine creation. On Press Day, actress Lesley Joseph spoke out in support forJames' efforts.

"Everyone will probably scream me down, but I love the Plasticine garden, I think it's just so off the wall, so outrageous; I applaud Chelsea for letting it in. I've just met a purist friend of mine who thinks it's awful. I love it, I just think it's fun, unusual. I think the thing with Chelsea is that like a lot of things you need to keep introducing new people to it, you need to keep bringing new people in and I think if you can get something which is a strong talking point like that then fantastic. I think NAFAS is fabulous as ever, I love the flower arrangers, the show is smaller this year, there are not as many of the big Show Gardens, but I think what is there is as dynamic, as exciting, and as diverse as it always is and I think the standard is really high."


Digger said:

Hmmm, I hope we don't see another plasticine garden again, I really don't think that the garden contributed anything at all to Chelsea

on 19 May 2009 at 06:40 PM

lizidrip said:

I love the plasticine garden, sometimes Chelsea, wonderful though it is, seems almost too perfect, the plasticine garden added a sense of humour and quirkiness which was much needed.

Congratulations RHS your response was spot on, thanks for making this an exceptional show

on 19 May 2009 at 09:27 PM

Jean Vernon said:

Hi Digger, sorry you didn't like it. It's been a great talking point around the showground, one of those 'Marmite' moments - you either love it or hate it. But isn't that what gardening shows and garden design are all about? It's good to get people's sap rising, either in support or opposition and I feel we will be talking about it for a good while yet.

I doubt there'll be another Plasticine garden at Chelsea for a while, but it's good to see that the RHS has entered into the spirit of the controversy and awarded the 'garden' the very first (and possibly the very last) Plasticine Chelsea Gold Medal.

on 19 May 2009 at 09:34 PM

Digger said:

Of course the RHS was right to allow this garden into Chelsea, so we all know how awful it is in real life.. but seriousley I do respect other opinions and if things like that float your boat..

on 19 May 2009 at 09:58 PM

sue1002 said:

I found the garden amusing and was not at all surprised to hear that the idea was thought of in a pub.  Well done to the children that helped make the flowers, giving them something constructive to do instead of sitting on their backsides playing computer games.

on 19 May 2009 at 10:02 PM

Jean Vernon said:

Indeed Digger, indeed!

on 19 May 2009 at 10:47 PM

snopdrow said:

hi I really loved the james may garden it was bright and cheerful well done elaine clewlow

on 20 May 2009 at 01:01 PM

Jean Vernon said:

Hello Snopdrow (Elaine), sounds like you had fun at the show. What else did you enjoy seeing while you were there? Is this garden getting too much airtime/coverage? What do you think?

on 20 May 2009 at 01:24 PM