Birmingham City Council has been awarded silver at the Chelsea Flower Show this week. The garden, which was put together on behalf of the city’s Parks and Nurseries department by Mike Hinton and team was entitled ‘The Plight of the Gorilla’ and was specifically designed to highlight the situation of these endangered animals in the Rwanda region of Central Africa.
The garden took eight days to create on site and was a centrepiece in the Grand Pavilion at the show. The exhibit consisted of a jungle scene complete with rocks, a waterfall and tropical plants – all overlooked by a large model gorilla. Plants included poinsettias and authentic African plants and shrubs. The garden also had an additional eco twist by making use of reusable plastic rocks instead of sandstone. Originally it was thought that the rocks would have to be sourced from South Africa, but the council were able to obtain realistic rocks which are moulded from the original granite specimens from one of their regular suppliers, Amberol.
John Williamson, Marketing Manager at Amberol was at Chelsea to view the finished result. “The garden looked really impressive and the general public absolutely loved it,” he commented. “People were coming up to the display and commenting how fantastic it looked – it certainly had the wow factor. We were delighted with effect that the rocks created as part of the waterfall; they looked exactly like real rocks but at a fraction of the cost, making it a real sensory experience for visitors.”
Birmingham Parks and Nurseries department creates and tends to communal displays across the city as well as maintaining Birmingham’s five premier parks including the largest, Sutton Park National Nature Reserve which covers a total of 2,400 acres.
As well as success in the Chelsea Flower Show, the authority has also won numerous awards in Britain in Bloom, including gold in 2010 in the large city category of Heart of England in Bloom.