At the Chelsea Flower Show you are notified of your award with a discrete card left at your garden in the early morning, which gives you the opportunity to gather your thoughts in relative privacy. There’s nothing at all private about receiving the awards at the Gardening World Cup. This is an “Oscar style” ceremony held in front of a bank of TV cameras, with no advance warning of the results.
This year, England handed their crown to Australia and, as with many a test match, the result was weather dependent. If the judging had taken place a day earlier, the Australian entry would have been out of the running altogether as their pavilion flooded and had to be pumped out. Judging took place on a hot sunny day, so they got away with it, but there were nevertheless several raised eyebrows at the result because the best in show was undoubtedly the Malaysian entry from Lim In Chong (who likes to be known as “Inch”) whose garden combined beauty, innovation and imagination in a way that wasn’t matched by any of the other entries. Inch received a gold medal and two special awards for best design and the best interpretation of the “Peace and Flowers” message, but bizarrely not “Best in Show”.