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Peat-free Cosmos Collection makes RHS Chelsea Flower Show debut

by | 08 May 24 | Garden Design, News | 0 comments

National Plant Collection Holder, Jonathan Sheppard is making his RHS Chelsea Flower Show debut in just over two weeks, bringing the first ever collection of Cosmos bipinnatus to the Show. 

After Sheppard’s two collections were flooded out by storm Babet back in October last year, neighboring houses are still uninhabitable to date, making this a “true come back story,” says Plant Heritage.

A sculpture of five rusted cosmos will feature on the stand, as a nod to ‘From Flood to flowers’, signifying the resilience of gardens and gardeners and how they must adapt to the changing weather conditions. 

Sculpture of rusted cosmos, produced by Lincolnshire based sculptor Ian Gill. © Jonathan Sheppard

Sheppard says: “The flood very much brought home to me how we gardeners need to start thinking not just about what we grow in terms of it being resilient, but how we grow it and the impact that has. Plant perfection can’t cost the earth.”

He says his display is also focused on sustainability, exploring how he grows all of his plants 100% peat and pesticide free, as well as using solely stored rainwater to grow his national collection. 

The peat-free cosmos collection is not the only first Sheppard is bringing to the Great Pavilion. He is also producing an audio description of the stand, in addition to audio of all the educational material that people can see on the stand. 

“I decided to take the accessibility of my educational material to the next level and essentially create an audio description of the stand for people who may have sight issues, or indeed for anyone who wants to know more about why I grow the way I do.”

Jonathan Sheppard is the holder of two Plant Heritage National Plant Collections of Alcea (hollyhocks) and Cosmos bipinnatus. 

To find out more about the National Plant Collections, visit www.plantheritage.org.uk

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