Chelsea Flower Show winner from Bridgnorth set to judge inaugural virtual show
A Chelsea Flower Show winner from Bridgnorth will be switching places and judging a collection of the county’s most cared for gardens for a new online event taking place next month.
Caspar Gabb, who secured a gold medal at the 2006 show and top prize at the Shrewsbury Flower Show in 2012, is one of the judges for the open gardens competition at the Shropshire Virtual Show.
The event, which is taking place on August 22, is hoping to entertain people and support businesses in the absence of live shows by staging a day of music, entertainment, competitions and shopping experiences – all completely online.
While free to visit, the organisers are asking people to make a donation to help raise funds for five Shropshire charities – The Cavalier Centre, League of Friends to The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, The Movement Centre, Dog A.I.D. and Shropshire Rural Communities Charity.
The open gardens category is inviting entries from people who have enjoyed and put effort into their gardens, particularly through lockdown, and are keen to share what they have created. Gardens of all sizes will be considered for the top prize, with judging based on best use of colour, space and context.
Caspar Gabb said: “I think the virtual show is a brilliant opportunity for all fellow garden lovers to show the fruits of their labour over the last few months and to share their gardens with others.
“Our gardens have provided so much enjoyment and sanctuary during the lockdown, now is the chance to take part in a great event and to share them.”
The open gardens competition, which is sponsored by law firm Aaron & Partners, can be entered by visiting the show's website and registering details. The deadline for entries is August 10.
The judges, including world-leading rose expert Michael Marriott of Dave Austin Roses and Jack Willgoss from Wildgoose Nursery, Munslow, will use the submitted videos to decide on the winning places, which will be announced on show day.
Outside of the contest, the judges will also be showcasing their skills with Mr Marriott giving a talk on fragrance and Caspar Gabb displaying the talents that won him his Chelsea Flower Show Gold Medal.
Professional gardeners Holly Allen and Sally Wicks will be giving talks on ‘texture and form’ and ‘gardening on a shoestring’, organic vegetable grower Hugh Strickland will be showcasing his kitchen garden while Julie Bates will be offering a behind the scenes tour of Ruckley estate, home of Peony Flowers.
The Shropshire Virtual Show has launched this year in response to the impact the Covid-19 crisis has had on charity fundraising. Coordinated by five local charities and a team of dedicated volunteers, the digital event will offer a diverse line up of entertainment and activities that everyone can enjoy and take part in from home. A selection of local businesses will also be on-hand to showcase their products for visitors to buy at special rates.
For more information visit shropshirevirtualshow.com