Royal nod of approval as solar energy shines at Chelsea Flower Show


The winning entry. Credit RHS.

As regular readers would know, it is this column’s opinion that nothing beats a win over the Brits in an international comp. Now things haven’t gone so well in recent years with proud Aussies being forced to surrender the Ashes and we don’t want to talk about the Olympics!

Which made last week’s remarkable victory at the Chelsea Flower Show by the Trailfinders Australian Garden team all the more sweet. The two million dollar design is the first time an Aussie team has won the prestigious best in show (must have been rigged previously) and even got The Royal Nod of Approval according to reports.

The design — inspired by gorge settings in the Victorian Grampians — took 18 volunteers six weeks to construct and featured bird and frog calls, ferns, filtered rainwater and a giant Waratah (the flower not a NSW rugby front row forward).

However solar energy fans will be just as proud of the design team’s commitment to sustainability and solar power.

Yes folks the Trailfinders team made sure the solar power statement was made loud and clear.

All power used at the design site, to pump filtered rainwater, play recordings of birds and frogs etc, was powered by an array of solar panels at the back of the site. The enterprising nod at energy sustainability ensured the entire landscape design was “off the grid” said chief designer Phillip Johnson adding the message of the design was that of sustainability in a modern world.

“It’s organic, it’s free-formed, it’s got really hard-core environmental messaging,” Mr Johnson said prior to the show. “It’s also a brilliant opportunity for us to showcase our sustainable messaging to the world.”

So was the environmental and sustainable message — including the all-important solar energy panels — one of the points that gave the Aussie team the nod for the gold medal? Not being garden design experts here at SQHQ we can’t say for sure. But who knows, if Ma’am gave it the Royal thumbs up maybe this is the future for all Chelsea Flower Show Gardens.

Or maybe solar panels for all Royal Greenhouses? We’ll keep you posted.


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