Phillip Johnson Landscapes presents poppy tribute at RHS Chelsea 2016
The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016 will include a community tribute of respect and remembrance, presented by Phillip Johnson Landscapes. Johnson’s design will incorporate over 2,000m2 of handcrafted poppies which will be spread into the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea; this is the first time RHS Chelsea has connected into the grounds of the Hospital in such a dramatic way.
The Chelsea tribute will honour all of the Commonwealth servicemen and women, who have fought across all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations over the last 100 years. The generous assistance of the Victorian Government’s Department of Veterans Affairs has been instrumental in allowing this largely unfunded community project to travel to London for the 2016 RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
The idea for the tribute comes from Melbourne-based duo Lynn Berry and Margaret Knight, who started to craft and plant 120 poppies in 2013 to honour their fathers who fought in World War II.
More than 300,000 handcrafted poppies were collected between 2013 and 2015 for installation in Melbourne’s Federation Square on Anzac (Australian New Zealand Army Corps) Day 2015, with simultaneous installations in many states throughout Australia, in New Zealand and Singapore.
This coincided with the Centenary of Anzac commemorations in Australia and New Zealand. When the pair decided to take their project to the wider community in June 2013, a target of 5000 poppies was, according to fibre artists Berry and Knight, “a challenging but achievable” target. That target was reached in November 2013 for the official launch, and it was evident that 5000 Poppies had captured the imagination of the community worldwide, culminating in more than 50,000 contributors of all ages from all areas of the globe.
In March 2015, 5000 Poppies teamed up with acclaimed landscape designer Phillip Johnson to present a spectacular community tribute garden at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show. Seen by more than one million people, this emotional installation was Phillip’s personal tribute to his great grandfather
Lieutenant Frederick Johnson, who fought and died on the Somme in WWI.
5000 Poppies again teamed up with Phillip Johnson and his company, Phillip Johnson Landscapes to create the stunning installation in Melbourne’s Federation Square, which was seen around the world on Anzac Day in April 2015. The success at Federation Square has led to an unprecedented invitation for this inspirational team to showcase their installation at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in