Birmingham scoops gold for ‘One Small Step’ at Chelsea

By on 24/05/2016 in Culture, News, Partnerships
Copyright Jas Sansi

Copyright Jas Sansi

Birmingham City Council has scooped Gold at the Chelsea Flower Show for the fifth year running, in the Floral category, with a display that celebrates the work of local artist Willard Wigan and grass root sport.

Head of Parks for Birmingham City Council, Darren Share MBE, said: “It is wonderful to bring home another Gold for Birmingham and I’d like to thank Willard Wigan for working with us on this incredible design.  I’d also like to thank the team who have again demonstrated their skills combining structural elements with beautiful plants grown in the city’s nurseries and hot house.  Through this now award winning design we have been able to shine a light on Birmingham’s creativity.

“I hope people will travel to Chelsea to see our display, however it will be recreated in Cannon Hill Park alongside an exhibition of Willard’s work at the Midland Arts Centre throughout June.”

Background –

The 10m x 19m island display in the Grand Pavilion (GPD/156) is split into several elements.

Element 1, The Needles – The centre piece of the display is a five metre tall needle with two other needles stretching across the display.  One has water pouring around the eye and the other has a planted line of hardy Gerbera running down the middle. The third needle holds a carpet bedded punch ball and pair of wicker boxing gloves.

Element 2, Activity – At the top of the central needle is a wicker recreation of one of Willard’s artworks – two small children playing on a see saw.  A hummingbird will be in a group of metal birds to represent walking in your local park.

Element 3, Sport – A number of sports will be showcased here including Park Run and Couch to 5k training packages, which Birmingham City Council offers free to Birmingham residents as part of the Active Parks programme.  There are also references to the Hole Farm Trekking centre in Woodgate Valley Country Park and the Pat Benson Boxing academy, renamed after its most successful trainer Pat in 2011 just after Pat was named BBCWM Unsung Hero Award.

Plants – all of the flowering plants have been produced and grown in the city’s nurseries and all of the structural plants are cared for in the council’s special show hot house.  Flowering plants include Antirrhinum Arrow vars, Ageratum,  Cosmos sonata vars, Tagetes Durango vars, Nicotiana cuba vars, Zinnia Magellan vars, Dahlia Dalina vars, Impatiens New Guinea ColourPower vars, Osteospermum margarita vars, Begonia Amstel vars.

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show runs until Saturday 28 May, with the press day on Monday 23 May.


For further media information about the display or the build contact Press and PR Officer Debbie Harrison on 0121 303 4476 or

For further media information about Willard Wigan contact  Andy Seger on 07966 263810     or


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