Chelsea is the first show at which we exhibit gladioli. This year was a good growing season, not cold and good day length and light levels. This helped to have strong spikes for the exhibit. It was an emotional show for me as my mum had passed away only a week before the show. We were also hoping to achieve a record not many nurseries had done by getting ten consecutive Chelsea gold medals. The team worked hard in the build up prior to judging on the Monday morning. Monday is also Gala day with celebrities and guest arriving for a preview of the displays. In the afternoon, during Private View, Helen and myself were privileged to meet the Queen when she came to see our exhibit. She asked about the growing and about other species gladioli which she had seen on visits to South Africa. This was a wonderful honour for us.
Tuesday morning is the day we receive our medal and we were delighted to be awarded our 10th gold medal. The show opened at 8 am and we were busy with customers buying corms and ordering for the following year. Top selling varieties were Mahler, Prince of Orange, Purple Flora and Careless. The show opens to the public 12 hours a day from 8am to 8pm. By the Thursday morning I had to change over some of the spikes due to the heat in the marquee which makes the flowers open quickly. These then last until the Saturday when the great sell of flowers and plants starts at 4pm.