The Grenada-Cathy John exhibit at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015 named ‘Pure Grenada’s Rainforest’ has won a Gold Medal. The all-new Show team, led by Grenadian-based designer Cathy John, brought Grenada to life with a fragrant scale representation of the mountainous rainforest and volcanic crater lake at the heart of the island.
Cathy’s design emphasises the rich rainforest ferns and flora typical of Grenada's Grand Etang National Park - accented with scented spices - with a focus on the sometimes-overlooked star of the island’s interior, its verdant foliage.
Cathy said: “Pure Grenada’s Rainforest depicts Grenada's mountainous terrain of vibrant green vegetation. Our exhibit promotes Grenada’s extraordinary biodiversity, and showcases the different spices that thrive at different levels of vegetation.”
She added: “Our rainforest, lakes, flowers and other exotic hinterland plants such as golden mature cocoa pods, opening nutmeg pods - revealing the red mace clinging to the black shell that protects the spicy nutmeg within; cinnamon; cloves; and other spices reveal their intense fragrance to really stand out from the floral displays at the Show.”
The greenery and spices were grown in Grenada by members of the Chelsea team and arranged to Cathy’s design experts ahead of Monday 18 May when the display enthralled Press Day visitors including Dr Johnson Beharry VC – recipient of the highest military decoration for valour in the British and Commonwealth armed forces, who was born in Grenada; and celebrities including designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and TV personalities Piers Morgan, Nicholas Parsons and Nicky Chapman.
Cathy said: “We’re delighted that the exhibit, with its bold scale representation and use of Grenada’s famous spices, has been awarded a Gold Medal here in London. My personal inspiration for the Pure Grenada’s Rainforest design comes from my love and respect for the cool, calm serenity of the rainforest and the vital role it plays in the life of my island home. In addition to a providing visitors with a treat for all the senses, the rainforest is the source of our precious water, upon which we all depend.”
She added: “Our forest uniquely features a centrally-located fresh water crater lake in Grand Etang, an area well known for its diverse population of plants, some representing the oldest of its kind in the world, such as the protected Grand Etang fern, only found in that part of the world.”
Sharon Bernstein, Director Grenada Tourism Authority UK & Ireland, said: “Grenada boasts an enthralling natural landscape and the design team has provided visitors to the world’s greatest flower show with an authentic taste of Pure Grenada. The Chelsea Flower Show is truly a world stage and Grenada continues to play a prominent and acclaimed role.”
All connected with the pavilion express their gratitude to the 2015 sponsors and those who offered their time and plant materials.