The Story Behind the Central Feature

Plant Heritage celebrated its 35th anniversary at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show this year with a stunning central feature designed to showcase the National Plant Collections as ‘Jewels in the Crown.’

The finished design.

The theme for the display was entitled 'Jewels In The Crown' was the brain child of Surrey based designer, Selina Botham of Designs For All Seasons. The design depicted the shape of a crown, with plants from a number of National Plant Collections forming the precious gems.

The Crown reflected the work that Plant Heritage does in conserving the rich variety of garden plants that make up our national heritage. A subtle reference to the Union Jack ran through the design, with a ribbon of velvety red threading through the taller soft rich planting of the rest of the crown. The 'Jewels' were a selection from the National Plant Collection scheme.
A number of stray plants outside of the protection of the crown were planted to illustrate that not all plants are currently protected within a National Collection. Selina explained that these plants were trodden on over the course of the Show, and some even died. “But this was intentional," said Selina.  

"It indicates that there is still much to be done to continue the vital conservation work of Plant heritage for many years to come,” she added.

Ella Fielding and  designer Selina Botham
The crown, which was carved by chainsaw sculptor Ella Fielding, from a locally felled oak tree and the number 35 was hewn from the same piece of wood to form the main feature of the design at over 2m high.
Speaking on her design Selina said: “The charity is understandably proud of its Royal connection, and with Prince Charles being the Patron, a crown symbol seemed apt.”

The Countess of Wessex formally opened the Plant Heritage Marquee on press day and was impressed by the design and standard of plants on display. 

We are delighted that the 35 sculpture now lives on in a house in Esher (number 35 of course!). The Crown has found its new home in Newnham, Hampshire thanks to Seed Shop fundraiser June James. 
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