Bronze award for Kelmarsh Hall gardener

Fiona Alexander at the show
Fiona Alexander at the show

A gardener from Kelmarsh Hall has returned triumphant from the recent RHS Flower Show Tatton Park.

Fiona Alexander, who is responsible for Kelmarsh’s walled kitchen garden and co-ordinates the garden volunteers, entered her own show garden for the first time, and was awarded bronze in the Small Garden category.

Fiona Alexander, gardener at Kelmarsh Hall

Fiona Alexander, gardener at Kelmarsh Hall

Her entry into the competition came about because she is also a jewellery designer and has worked closely with Whitby jet jewellers, W. Hamond.

When Fiona mentioned she would like to enter a show garden, the company’s director suggested that her garden could depict the story of jet and its evolution. Jet, which is formed through fossilized wood, has its origins in the monkey puzzle tree, which featured in Fiona’s garden.

She also included a water feature to represent the cutting and polishing of the stone, along with coastal planting.

Fiona appeared on the BBC2 show RHS Show Tatton Park last Thursday, when Gardeners’ World presenter Joe Swift discussed her garden.

Fiona took up her role at Kelmarsh in March. She previously worked at Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire, where she completed her gardening training.

She was also a volunteer gardener for four years at Ilam Hall and gardens near Ashbourne.