How wonderful that the judges decided that the best garden of the 2022 Chelsea Flower Show was the Rewilding Britain Garden. Even before I knew it had won the top award, it was the one I picked when asked by a Royal Horticultural Society guide for my favourite stand.
And how wonderful, too, to be invited to the Chelsea Flower Show last night, by the RHS – for their President’s dinner, hosted by Keith Weed, former head of sustainability at Unilever.
This was towards the end of a day that began with a car ride out to the Four Seasons Hotel in Hampshire with Volans colleague Charlene Cranny, to kick off a session on ESG agenda for private equity firm Oakley Capital. Fascinating, broad-ranging exchange. Torrential rain as we returned suggested the Flower Show could be damp at times.
Elaine and I had seen the Gardener’s World programme coverage of the gardens earlier in the week – so it was beyond wonderful to be able to walk into some of our favourites. Among mine was the RAF Benevolent Fund exhibit, though obviously with Battle of Britain pilot father I had something of a vested interest. The extraordinary story behind the sculptor, John Everiss’s, involvement is told on the linked webpage.
Also loved the Bees for Development stand, where we talked about the organisation’s evolution and work with the founder, Dr Nicola Bradbear. Walked off with their 2021 impact report and will follow up. Fascinating to see beekeepers becoming champions of environmental restoration in Africa.
A parallel venture is Honey Care Africa, whose triple bottom line mission attracted me to them when I first encountered their founder, Farouk Jiwa, at the World Economic Forum some twenty years ago.