Wilby garden designer helps team win gold at Chelsea Flower Show

Caitlin McLaughlin of Wilby
Caitlin McLaughlin of Wilby

A garden designer from Wilby was part of the winning team which scooped a gold medal at Chelsea Flower Show.

Caitlin McLaughlin was chosen to work alongside lead designer Sarah Eberle on the project by garden centre giants Hillier.



Their entry entitled ‘Spring’ was awarded a gold medal, making it the 72nd consecutive Chelsea Flower Show where Hillier has won gold.

As well as adding to Hillier’s haul of medals, the award is another success for Caitlin who is already an award-winning garden designer, having been awarded a gold medal for her Nature and Nuture show at RHS Flower Show Tatton Park.

She has always had an interest in horticulture and garden design, which led her to a degree and Masters in conservation, and then to the Natural History Museum and Kew Gardens to work in plant sciences and conservation, which led her to form her own garden design practice.

George Hillier said: “Chelsea is the lifeblood running through Hillier.

“It plays such a vital role in the business so we are absolutely delighted to have won gold for the 72nd time in a row.

“It is absolutely a team effort and I want to extend a huge thanks to every single person involved, from our designers Sarah and Caitlin to everyone that works so hard throughout the whole year to make it all possible.

“Our mission is to inspire the creation of green living spaces for now and the future and, by adding to our legacy, this year’s garden has certainly helped us achieve that.”

Hillier has exhibited plants at Chelsea in some form for more than 100 years and the show is the platform from which the company launches many of its new plant varieties, including two in 2017 that are exclusive to Hillier.

Another attraction on the stand this year was the memory tree.

Visitors were invited to write down a treasured gardening memory and hang a plant tag on the Davidia involucrata tree, commonly known as the ‘Pocket Handkerchief Tree.’

The first tag hung on the tree was by Alan Titchmarsh and the aim was to have thousands of hanging tags by the end of show week.