Designs on gold at Chelsea Flower Show
Jack Dunckley has been inspired by Bermuda to create a masterpiece for the Chelsea Flower Show — and now he wants the island's help to make him the youngest person to take a gold medal there in 2017.
With a world audience of 1.9 billion, the Royal Horticultural Society's annual show offers a chance to showcase Bermuda on a global stage.
“The idea is, once we have built this garden in London, to transport it back here to the island as something to stay here for ever,” Mr Dunckley, 24, an award-winning landscaper, told The Royal Gazette of his Bermuda Triangle exhibit planned for the show coming in May.
Mr Dunckley, who just finished a weeklong research trip here with his father Robert, has been designing gardens since the age of 14, and is already the youngest winner of an RHS Chelsea Flower Show medal.
“We came here to collaborate with a local company to build this display — it's completely inspired by Bermuda and how the island was raised out of the water by this amazing underwater volcano.”
The concept piece is a large one: as much as 20ft on each side.
Its pyramidal arrangement will intertwine subtropical plants and flowers with triangular pieces of aluminium and perspex, sloping around a towering central palmetto that can light up with simulated volcano colours.
Mirror backdrops will reflect the garden multiple times. Fire will be worked into the display, as well as pink Bermuda sand.
“I've always had a passion for the subtropical part of the world,” Mr Dunckley said.
“I have visited a few Caribbean islands and gained inspiration from there.
“One day, I thought of the Bermuda Triangle.”
Friends have lived here, he said — and after a week of exploring Bermuda, from the Botanical Gardens to the Cooper's Island nature reserve, the Dunckleys find it “an iconic landscape”.
Ideal sponsorship for the Chelsea Flower Show could run as high as $60,000, but Mr Dunckley believes the prominent event would be worth it for global marketing — and plans to pitch his idea to the Bermuda Tourism Authority as well as local landscapers.
“It will be a sculptural conceptual piece in London shouting about Bermuda, and it would have a legacy here on the island with people coming to see it,” he said.
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