Lennon’s visit remembered in Chelsea Flower Show

  • John Lennon, pictured in Bermuda in 1980.

    John Lennon, pictured in Bermuda in 1980.

John Lennon’s visit to the Island in 1980 will be a feature of this year’s famous Chelsea Flower Show by way of a “Bermuda Double Fantasy Garden” exhibit.

Double Fantasy was the name of Lennon’s last album, inspired by the freesia the former Beatle saw during a walk through the Botanical Gardens. The album was the last one he released before being shot dead in New York.

Previous Chelsea Flower Show exhibitor and medal-winner Dominique (Nicky) Gurret has designed the garden, which is being sponsored by the Fairmont Hamilton Princess.

Ms Gurret’s exhibit will combine various aspects of the Island with a garden setting alongside a beach overlooking the “imaginary crystal clear Bermuda blue water”, said a hotel spokesman.

“On one side of the path, there will be palms along with an abundance of tropical vegetation. Closer to the beach, there will an easel where an artist has left his or her painting of the ocean along with a sailboat representing the boat on which John Lennon sailed to Bermuda. The other side of the path will feature a sculpture signifying John Lennon and his love for Yoko and their son.

“Below the statue in the grass will be a double freesia emulating the same freesia that inspired ‘Double Fantasy’.

“Other plants in the exhibit will be those typically found in Bermuda along a beach or an inland setting. The coastline plants include ox-eye daisy, baygrape, seaside goldenrod, sea lavender and palms. Further to the rear of the garden will be banana plants, bird of paradise, ficus and philodendrons with a colourful bougainvillea over the arbor.

“At the rear of the garden, there will be a bench made of driftwood sitting beneath an elevated arbor. The bench, which will be shaded by plants, will overlook the garden and imagined ocean. A path of Bermuda pink sand will lead from the arbor to the beach.”

Ms Gurret said: “It was an honour and a delight to have designed this exhibit for the Chelsea Flower Show. The connection of John Lennon and his family to Bermuda is special to everyone on the Island.

“I’m so grateful to the Fairmont Hamilton Princess for giving me this opportunity to represent John Lennon’s magical island journey through this fitting garden platform and to share it at such a prestigious venue.”

Hotel general manager George Terpilowski added: “To bring a small piece of the wonder that is Bermuda to the more than 160,000 visitors from around the world who attend the show each year will be a great opportunity to showcase the Island and raise its profile.

“In addition, sponsoring the exhibit is a wonderful way to highlight the iconic Fairmont Hamilton Princess as we look forward to celebrating our 130th year in Bermuda in 2015.”

The Chelsea Flower Show takes place between May 20 and 24 at the Royal Hospital in London.

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Published Apr 2, 2014 at 8:00 am (Updated Apr 2, 2014 at 8:08 am)

Lennon’s visit remembered in Chelsea Flower Show

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