The Grenada exhibit at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019 named ‘A Carnival of Exotic Tropical Blooms’ has won a highly coveted Gold Medal. This brings to 15 the number of Gold Medals awarded to Grenada in 21 years of exhibiting at the Show, with five being awarded in as many consecutive years to lead designer Catherine John and her extended team of volunteers.
This year, Catherine and the Show team brought Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean to life with an exuberant representation of the colourful outfits worn by revelers at the islands’ annual ‘Spicemas’ carnival celebrations in August every year.
Catherine’s acclaimed design is inspired by a carnival float, an intrinsic part of the cultural heritage of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique. Interpreted through a lavish display of heliconias, bromeliads, orchids, gingers and tropical ferns, complemented by the islands’ scented spices and verdant foliage, the carnival theme is exemplified by a steel pan and masque.
Catherine said: “’A Carnival of Exotic Tropical Blooms’ is inspired by our islands’ annual celebrations, cornerstones of our culture and an especially memorable time for visitors to come to Grenada. The first modern Caribbean carnival originated in the late eighteenth century, brought to the region by the French, and while Carriacou has kept its Carnival at its original time – before Lent – Grenada is one of the few islands to hold carnival celebrations after the Lenten season. Seeing Grenada at Carnival is to experience our islands at their very best as it’s a time when we celebrate everything that makes them so special all year round.”
The blooms, greenery and spices were grown in Grenada and arranged to Catherine’s design ahead of Monday, 20th May when the display enthralled VIP Press Day visitors including Grenadian born Dr Johnson Beharry VC – recipient of the highest military decoration for valour in the British and Commonwealth armed forces,and prominent guests including TV chef Ainsley Harriott, whose recent ITV One series ‘Ainsley’s Caribbean Kitchen’ highlighted the culinary delights of Grenada.
Patricia Maher, CEO of Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA), said: “We’re proud to support ‘A Carnival of Exotic Blooms’ and we commend Catherine and her team for once again providing visitors to the world’s premiere flower show with an authentic taste of our islands. The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is an unmatched opportunity to entice visitors to our islands where they are very welcome to join us in celebrating one of our annual carnivals.”
All connected with the pavilion express their gratitude to the 2019 supporters and those who offered their time and plant materials.