Recreating Somerset for Taunton Flower Show
PUBLISHED: 09:10 21 July 2016 | UPDATED: 09:19 21 July 2016
Somerset Life has teamed up with Monkton Elm Garden Centre to create a special tribute to our county
Monkton Elm Garden Centre has been amajor exhibitor at Taunton Flower Showfor more than 30 years. It’s an importantpart of the history of Somerset’s county town and it offers a chance to meet new people. The decision regarding what theme to run with seems to get harder each year, but this year has been easy – the centre has teamed up with Somerset Life to recreate a Somerset scene. The current promotion in store is ‘a vintage summer’ so it seemed a good choice to portray an old Somerset Post Offie, once the hub of the community, in a cottage garden surrounding.
The design team at family-owned Monkton Elm is made up of staff members, mainly, but not exclusively, from the plant department and they ‘brainstorm’ in meetings over the early summer. Maintenance manager Steve assembles the ‘hard’ landscaping, often building entire parts of the display back at the garden centre. These are then taken to the show in pieces and reassembled on site.
Fiona, Head of Plants, will source vintage pieces to tie in with the theme, and she, along with other plant staff, will visit local growers to reserve the best plants weeks before the show. They also use Hilliers, the renowned plant nursery, and source larger specimen plants all the way from Italy.
As you can imagine, the whole process is a logistical puzzle, from transporting the hard landscaping to the show, and organising the plant deliveries direct to the show ground, to staff rotas, and even catering.
They are allowed to start construction in the marquee at noon on the Tuesday before the show starts, and they plant on Wednesday and Thursday, aiming to fiish the fial tweaking by early evening.
The plants are watered well so that they can cope with the flctuating temperatures in the marquee.
Visitors to the show, however long they have been gardening, can always fid something to chat about on the display.
Monkton Elm has received a number of gold medals at the flwer show over the years and often Best in Show. Everyone will hold their breath on Friday morning, as judging takes place before members are allowed in for a fist look.
Do pop and have a look for yourself!