Chelsea Comes to Guernsey – Plant Nursery Raises Vital Funds for QNI
17 June 2020
The cancellation of The Chelsea Flower Show 2020 provided a unique and exciting opportunity for renowned Clematis breeder Raymond Evison to stage an exhibition of over 1,500 plants for the people of Guernsey and to raise money for two chosen charities: The Queen’s Nursing Institute and The Guernsey Botanical Trust.
The Queen’s Nursing Institute is the oldest professional nursing organisation in the UK and believed to be the oldest nursing charity in the world. The charity is dedicated to improving the nursing care of people in their home and community. We promote excellent nursing care for everyone, where and when they need it, provided by nurses and their teams with specific skills and knowledge. There are around 1500 Queen’s Nurses in the UK, 7 of which reside on Guernsey, which is the highest number per head of population.
The Guernsey Botanical Trust was formed in 2006 by Raymond Evison who is also its current Chairman. The charity’s volunteers have over the years cleared a derelict site in Saumarez Park to become a working kitchen garden, growing produce grown in the Victorian era. The vision is to complete the project with The Gatehouse to house a Learning Centre to educate various age groups, particularly children, about the growing of vegetables and fruit, a Visitor Centre including a shop to support the project alongside a very much needed crew room for the volunteers, who are the backbone of the garden.
They are such diverse charities but we realised that they complemented each other: the nurses looking after the physical and mental health of the island population and the garden providing a vital green space for the physical and mental well-being of islanders, thus working together for the good of the community.Raymond Evison
Raymond spent four days working alongside Sir Geoffrey and Lady Diana Rowland in blustery weather conditions to create a magnificent display depicting a Guernsey seashore scene which was opened by Lady Corder on Friday 29th May. He was supported by his invaluable Guernsey Clematis team, organised by Paul Ingrouille.
As Guernsey went into Phase 4 of Lockdown, Saturday and Sunday became two amazing days. We greeted the visitors, hand sanitised, social distanced, sold the beautiful Clematis plants and parked the cars in stunning weather.
There were beaming faces as people were so pleased to be allowed out in the sunshine to attend a small event. The joy of being amongst glorious blooms was evident by the smiles whilst the chance to see someone and chat at a distance was appreciated. Also there was an opportunity to buy a Clematis plant, with expert advice on hand from Raymond. It was amazing to see people taking away their purchases in open top cars, on the back of a bicycle or even proudly being carried along the Braye Road.
Following the event and with subsequent donations, nearly £3500 has been raised for each charity. Thank you to all the wonderful members of the public for their generous donations, which will help both charities achieve their aims on Guernsey.
Bailiwick of Guernsey Queen’s Nurses
Volunteers, Guernsey Botanical Trust