Kelways Plants of Langport, Somerset, is one of the oldest nurseries in the UK, and has exhibited at the Chelsea Flower Show since 1913. For the 2015 Show, Managing Director Dave Root and his team have taken on their greatest challenge yet.
Kelways are known for their annual display of peonies, tree peonies and irises. ?Its one of the stalwart displays of Chelsea? said Dave, For Chelsea 2015, Kelways will displaying for the first time some modern peony cultivars bred in the USA. Kelways tree peonies will take on a fresh look, with paper parasols above the plants, similar to those used outdoors in Japanese gardens to protect the dinner plate size flowers from rain and the midday sun. Kelways signature rainbow display of classic garden irises will also grace the Floral Pavilion?s ?Best of British? category.
New for Kelways, is what they believe to be the first ever specialist exhibit of Tree Ferns at Chelsea, representing Australasia in the ?Floral Continents? category. Dave has been addicted to tree ferns for more than 20 years, and more than 15 different species will feature in the exhibit. Kelways has become one of the largest specialist growers of tree ferns in Europe, and have supplied several major projects recently, including the Walkie Talkie ?Sky Garden? in Canary Wharf,
?This has been a dream since my first ever Chelsea in 1993; I am so excited that we finally have the opportunity to take our tree ferns to Chelsea 2015?. ?Dave is particularly proud that he has given the management of these precious plants and responsibility of the exhibit to his young ?Apprentice? Robert Parsons, who is equally passionate about tree ferns, and at just 20 years old, is probably the youngest exhibitor at Chelsea 2015.
Despite being one of the oldest nurseries around, Kelways has a particularly young management team, and Dave is keen to promote his 4 young managers, all under 25, as proof that horticulture is a rewarding career with good prospects and recognition.
Not content with two exhibits of their own, Kelways are also the major plant supplier to 5 Main Avenue gardens. ?We get given these amazing plant lists, and opportunities to work with the world?s premier garden designers, at the best Flower Show on the planet. Its hugely pressurized, but the thrill of knowing that we are involved in something extraordinary drives us on!? Dave is Kelways Plant Hunter, but during Build-up it is another cool headed young apprentice, 23 year old Gary House, who co-ordinates the receipt of 3 lorries a day on the showground to distribute plants to Kelways? ?anxiously waiting clients.
For the 2015 Show, Kelways are supplying Darren Hawkes (Brewin Dolphin), James Basson (L?Occitane UK), Charlie Albone (Husqvarna), Kamelia Bin Zaal (Al Barari Firm Management, LLC), and Adam Frost (Homebase). ?With 3 designers in non UK time zones (Dubai, Sydney and Monaco) we are meeting on Skype at peculiar times of day and night? says Dave. ?And with over 21,000 plants growing in Somerset and destined for London, this is set to be our greatest ever Chelsea challenge!?