Show Gardens 2021 - Chorley Flower Show
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Show Gardens 2021

We’ve got a selection of show gardens and the popular community gardens, which are all outside Astley Hall this year.

Mayflower 400

Mayflower 400

One of the highlights is our Mayflower 400 themed garden, which we would have created last year to commemorate the anniversary of the Pilgrims landing in America. One of the famous names from the journey – Myles Standish – is thought to have hailed from Chorley.

Myles Standish was the military captain aboard the Mayflower ship and went on to found the still existing town of Duxbury, Massachusetts. Whilst Myles Standish is a wellknown historical figure in America, he perhaps has been a more obscure name in Lancashire and the rest of the UK.

The garden features an oak tree and a maple tree to represent the UK and America and a sea of blue slate makes up the ocean in between the two countries. A willow sculpture created by artist Cherry Chung, depicting abstract elements of the ship and ocean, is the centrepiece with native planting to surround.

The gardens aims to commemorate the 1620 voyage and create a lasting symbol of Chorley’s ties to it and America.

In the year following the show the garden will be built in a permanent location in the grounds of Duxbury Golf Course. The location was chosen due to having the strongest geographical ties to the Mayflower story, being where Duxbury Hall once stood and where the Standish family lived and spent their time here in Chorley. An informational display board will allow visitors to learn about both the history of Chorley’s connection to the Mayflower and the project to construct the garden.

The official unveiling of the garden’s willow sculpture will take place at 2pm on the first day of the show, followed by a ceremonial planting of the oak and maple saplings.

Rainbow Flower Garden

Rainbow Flower Garden

In 2020, due to the Coronavirus pandemic one of the ideas the organisers came up with for the Virtual show was a Children’s Design A Garden Competition, to encourage the next generation of creative gardeners.

The winners would have their garden brought to life for the 2021 Chorley Flower Show and they would receive free passes to the show, along with their family, so they can see their creations.

We asked for entrants to design a garden using a theme of their choice and to describe the garden using their own words. We asked them what plants and features the garden would have and gave them creative licence to come up with their designs.

Grace (aged 9) won our 5-11 years Primary School competition with her Rainbow Flower Garden design  along with the words: “I chose a rainbow flower garden to remember all the good work people have done at this time like the NHS, shopkeepers, binmen and normal people. I thought rainbow colours would be a nice thing to remember this time because everyone put rainbows up in their windows to show that everything will get better soon. I also like seeing flowers when we go for walks because they are always so pretty. I choose stones because I like the stones on a path we always walk on.”

Garden of Colours

Garden of Colours

The winner of the secondary school category of the Children’s Design a Garden competition was Isobel who submitted her Garden of Colours design along with the following words: “This garden is based on the three primary colours and the fact that using these colours you can make all the other colours. The basin in the middle is for mixing different flowers and colours to make new colours, like you would do with paint.

The garden goes ‘back to basics’ as it is based on the three primary colours and transports us back in time when people used berries and flowers to make paints.”

Homescapes of Chorley (a local landscaping and garden design company), have met with both of our competition winners to talk about their garden designs and how they can be brought to life for the Chorley Flower Show. As not all the flowers in the original design plans will be ‘in bloom’ for the show, the gardens have had to be altered whilst retaining the essence of the original designs and both our competition winners have been consulted with the changes.

We really look forward to seeing these gardens brought to life and to welcome our winners to the Chorley Flower Show and to see the look on their faces as they see their designs become reality.

Congratulations to both our winners

THE EVADERS GARDEN

THE EVADERS GARDEN

The Evaders Garden was originally built for the RHS Chelsea Flower show in 2015 by Chorley resident, John Everiss, the son of Stan Everiss (who was a Burgundy Line evader). The garden was awarded with a Silver medal at the Chelsea Flower show. Stan Everiss, the designer’s father was an RAF evader who was helped to regain his freedom by ordinary French citizens after he was shot down in 1943.  Inspired by these acts of selfless bravery, the garden’s design reflects the bond between helper and evader.

 

The ‘Evaders Garden’ shows an airman who has just parachuted from his aircraft, his ghostly image shelters briefly in an old abandoned church with his parachute trailed out before him. His eyes look up to a stained-glass window where two young French people are reaching out to help him; people who could help him but would later pay with their lives.   The wall also has a code poem engraved into a tablet.  Mass planting surrounds the sculpture as nature reclaims the abandoned church.

The Evaders Garden was permanently installed in Astley Park in 2015 for the Chorley Flower Show.

GARDEN OF REFLECTION

GARDEN OF REFLECTION

Commissioned for the 2018 show, the Garden of Reflection was permanently installed inside the walled garden at Astley Hall. It provides a lasting memorial to the men and women of the Chorley borough who served during World War One, to mark 100 years since the end of the conflict.

 

Created by Chorley resident and award-winning designer John Everiss and funded by the Armed Forces Covenant, The Garden of Reflection centres around a performance stage and is a place for people to sit and contemplate, reflect, learn or be entertained.

The flooring is constructed from millboard similar to the duck boards found in the trenches.  The dry stone walls are constructed from local sandstone, to replicate many of the local mills where the men and women who joined up would have made a living. The performance building with its giant timbers and steel roof covered by grasses evoke life in the trenches and dugouts.  Look closely and you will find small pieces of flint and brick, sourced from the Somme where our local soldiers fought and died. In addition, as a tangible, touchable link to the conflict actual battlefield relics from the Somme and Festubert are embedded into the wall.

 

Take the opportunity to sit next to the Messenger, created in stone by acclaimed sculptor Thompson Dagnall, hand carved from a large single piece of sandstone, his presence within the garden is to generate thought and contemplation. Is he enjoying a performance in the garden, dwelling on the thought of sounding the bugle to signal a charge from the trenches, or has he just finished playing The Post in honour of fallen comrades?

Carved in the large quarried blocks of stone Last, is the words of a little known poem written during the war. The poem “A Letter to Daddy” was written by a child mill worker from Chorley. Although the poem is not famous by the standards of the time, all we know is that it was written by a little girl with the initials M.L. to her Father serving in action. The inclusion of the poem provides a local link to the past. It allows us to reflect upon the feelings of those whose loved ones served in the war and in the setting of the garden, we can explore the thought whether or not the Father in the poem is “The Messenger” or became one of those our messenger was mourning.

Community Garden Competition

Community Garden Competition

One of the Chorley Flower Show’s important features is the Community Garden Competition. We invite community groups and schools to create a 2 metre squared mini show garden to be on display for the Chorley Flower Show. The quality of the gardens that are produced are excellent and the community groups involved also have an important message to get across to those attending the show. The school groups inclusion is also important as we want to inspire the next generation of young gardeners. The gardens are judged by independent judges and the competition is a fantastic feature of Chorley Flower Show and a real talking point amongst the show’s visitors. Here are some of the beautiful Community Gardens that have been created for the show.