CWGC Artisan Garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017
The CWGC celebrated a century of gardening excellence with an award-winning Artisan Garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017.
The CWGC Centenary Garden was funded by private donations and designed in collaboration with horticulturist David Domoney. It celebrated this unique organisation and paid tribute to the 1.7 million Commonwealth servicemen and women killed in the world wars.
An intimate, calm and reflective space, the garden expressed the essential part horticulture plays in the CWGC’s commemoration of the war dead, and showcased the traditional skills still employed by our staff around the globe.
Meet the team
“The CWGC Centenary Garden is an opportunity to share and celebrate 100 years of great horticulture.”
David is the CWGC’s Director of Horticulture. He’s worked for us for more than 30 years and was a driving force behind the creation of this garden. David has worked in most of the geographies in which the Commission works, from France to Fiji, Iceland to Indonesia.
“It is a great and rewarding challenge to be designing a garden for the Commonwealth War Graves centenary – interpreting and echoing some of the marvellous horticulture and design work that is displayed at their sites around the world.”
David’s background (he is a winner of 29 RHS Medals) and enthusiasm made him the perfect person to design the CWGC garden. David’s grandfather was badly injured in the First World War and that personal connection shined through in his design.
Click here to read David's blog on constructing the CWGC's Centenary Garden.
Jean Michel Ledhé
“Working on the RHS Chelsea Flower show is a great way to celebrate our centenary.”
Jean is a skilled stonemason at the CWGC’s workshops in France. From engraving the names of war dead on headstones, to carving intricate reliefs for some of the CWGC’s most iconic memorials, Jean is proud of the work he does to honour the war dead. For Chelsea, Jean was responsible for engraving the CWGC crest that formed the centrepiece of the garden.
Danny and Yves Delplace
“We are proud to work for the CWGC as it allows us to express our artistic skills for a good cause.”
Danny works as a blacksmith and handles all of the metal work for cemeteries in Belgium, Holland, Germany and part of France. He often works alongside his brother Yves – a painter and sign maker in our office in Belgium. The two brothers worked on the commemorative arch that formed the entrance to the CWGC garden. The arch was made from polyester resin on a wood and metal frame and was hand painted to resemble aged metal.
“The Chelsea Flower Show allows us to show our craft to a worldwide audience.”
Samuel has worked as a craftsman carpenter with the CWGC since 2006. His work ranges from repairing and recreating the most beautiful wooden features in cemeteries in France to the wooden seat in the garden’s centrepiece.
“It is incredible to think that millions of people will see my work.”
For almost 30 years Christian has honed his blacksmithing skills with the CWGC – restoring and conserving much of the ironwork found at war cemeteries across Europe. Christian hand-crafted the railings and the leaves within them. Each leaf took thirty minutes to shape by hand.
SIMON LEACH, STEVE SARGEANT AND IAN BROWN
“These noble statues are such a powerful reminder of the people we commemorate.”
With more than 100 years of stonemasonry experience between them, Simon, Steve and Ian make up part of the CWGC’s United Kingdom and Northern Area works team – responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of all our memorials in the UK, Ireland and Scandinavia. The three stone masons readied the statues for the show – enabling them to “stand guard” over the garden.