Wiltshire Publications

Bratton resident wins ‘Best in Show’ at Chelsea

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LOCAL resident, Peter  Chmiel, secured himself a place in the history books as his debut display won ‘best in show’ at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show. 

Peter worked in conjunction with colleague Chin-Jung Chen on a Chinese garden that sought to capture how cities need to work in harmony with nature, in order to effectively combat the effects of climate change. 

The garden was commissioned by the government of Guangzhou, China’s fifth largest city and looks to celebrate its transformation from the most polluted city in the country to one of the cleanest. 

Not only did Peter win on his debut Chelsea Show, but he also made history by winning with the first ever Chinese garden, as well as having the largest water garden of any competitor.  

“This was my debut Chelsea Show garden and so I am absolutely delighted to win gold and best show garden,” Peter told White Horse News. “As a director of Grant Associates – a landscape architecture practice in Bath – I have been designing landscapes for 30 years and have always wanted to participate in the RHS Chelsea Show, but just never found the time until now. 

“I have worked with Chin in our office for the last 15 years and we knew it was a strong design on paper, but it’s always a big challenge turning that into reality in three weeks! 

“The message we wanted to get across with the garden is how important it is for cities to pay attention to environmental sustainability and the importance of sharing our cities equally with  wildlife. It is fantastic to have achieved such a result at the world’s most prestigious garden show. 

“The concept is inspired by a four-day study tour of Guangzhou city and its environmental planning strategies in the wider region. There are three themes across the garden; the city lung (plants that clean the air); the social heart (plants that reconnect people and nature) and the blue kidney (an aquatic garden where plants clean the water). The three zones are linked by stepping stone paths and water rills. There are also five elegant bamboo structures up to 8.5 m tall and these are designed to be used by people and wildlife. 

“It has most certainly given me an appetite and the experience has given me a few ideas for the future.”

Picture: Proud winners – Chin and Peter standing infront of their award-winning garden.