So, another Chelsea Flower Show is nearly over – and even though we did not get a low-allergen show garden, we did get an excellent display from the Royal College of Pathologists in the RHS Environmental Zone in the Grand Pavilion: Urban Greening – Not to be Sneezed at! Plants for a Low Allergen Garden. So excellent, in fact that it got a Silver Gilt Medal and some words of praise from HM….
The RCP team exhibit was organised by ex-vice president Dr Tim Wreghitt with assistance from staff at Cambridge University Botanic Garden and Phillip Ball from the University of Cambridge Medical Graphics Department who provided some great graphic displays. The display was a mock up of an apartment roof garden in London focusing on low allergen plants such as choisya, geraniums, hydrangeas, acers and periwinkle – and provided lots of help and advice for respiratory allergy sufferers wanting to go all Alan Titchmarsh. Even if you didn’t see it, you can still access their information via their website right here.
I am really pleased that the RCP have once again taken up the cause of allergy, and organised such a great exhibit but….. I still want to see a low allergen garden out there amongst the show gardens.
In writing earlier today about the FreeFrom Skincare Awards, Alex Gazzola commented that many entrants to the awards treated them purely as beauty awards so could not see that the products’ health profile and freefrom credentials were relevant. But to me – and to the various awards that we run – you cannot separate the beautifying qualities of a skincare product, the taste of a food or the glories of a garden from its ‘healthiness’ and, if you are allergic or intolerant, its ‘freefrom-ness’.
Just as, from an architectural point of view, incorporating accessibility for disabled people into an inspiring design should be part of your skill and your remit (see, for example, the lovely ramp and steps at Cromwell Road entrance to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London’s South Kensington), so devising a deliciously pampering ‘freefrom’ beauty product or a stunningly beautiful a low allergen garden should be an exciting and fulfilling challenge for its creator, the more satisfying because it has incorporated more than just the on-pack requirement. Well, I shall keep on wishing…
Meanwhile, there was another very low allergen visitor of importance to the show… Followers of my garden pages may remember the arrival, some months ago, of Tawny Pipit, all the way from Troon in Ayrshire. Just spool a little way down this page and you will meet him. (No fear of an allergic reaction here, unless to any pollen that gets caught in passing…)
Well, his progenitor, Laura Antebi of the Wire Studio has been exhibiting this week at Chelsea (and also going to visit the ‘Joey’ she made for the WarHorse exhibiton next door at the National Army Museum) and has been staying with us while she does so. And, as a little pre-thank you she brought us Tawny Pipit’s wee cousin, Tiny Pipit. Allow me to introduce you…