Barbados has captured Gold Medal number 16 at the Chelsea Flower Show.
This was announced in a press release issued today by the Barbados Horticultural Society.
The chosen theme for this year’s exhibit was the Sailor’s Valentine, an extraordinary art form that represents a truly unique link between Barbados and Britain, the release said.
It noted that “during the 1800’s, when Britannia ruled the waves and Barbados was a major maritime hub in world trade, floods of British sailors poured into Bridgetown in search of ‘fun and frolic’. While there they also looked for special souvenirs to take home for their sweethearts, with the Sailor’s Valentine being the most special of all. Many of the finest examples still in existence today were originally purchased at the New Curiosity Shop in Bridgetown, owned by the Belgrave brothers. The classic Sailor’s Valentine is housed in an octagonal mahogany box with a glass cover to protect an intricate, delicate and painstakingly assembled collage of tiny, naturally coloured seashells, often incorporating a floral motif, a heart shape and a verse or message.”
To portray the exquisite magnificence of the Sailor’s Valentine, the team members created four enlarged floral replicas, with each one symmetrically positioned within a 20ft x 20ft formal landscaped area that is itself nestled in an octagonal perimeter to reflect the shape of the boxes. Each quarter of the garden is separated by four walkways, created with seed-pods from the Mahogany tree, converging into a lush tropical interior – resplendent with McArthur Palms, Dracaenas, Cordylines, Philodendrons, Heliconias, Anthuriums, Ginger Lilies and Orchids.
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