Thursday, January 23, 2014

WWI Centenary Gardens Chelsea Flower Show-Never Forget

WWI Christmas Truce; Centenary Gardens Chelsea Flower Show
Poster World War One Recruitment
Together we win
The RHS Chelsea Flower Show in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea in Chelsea, London. The show ran May 20 - 24 2014. 
  • Christmas Truce documentary below
  • John McCutcheon's song, Christmas in the Trenches
  • WWI Movie recommendations
  • More about the No Man's Land Garden
To commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, gardens will be featured themed on the war in the Great Pavilion.

Life on the front line in World War I will be the focus of a floral exhibit in the Great Pavilion at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this year.   

Two military charities, teamed with notable designers are exhibiting gardens. ABF the Soldier's Charity will have a garden called No Man’s Land created by award-winning designer Charlotte Rowe.
-- information from their promotional material

Louise Glaum ad for I Am Guilty
A famous American actress and producer of the 1920s
One of the vamps or vampires, she also made a film called Sex in 1920,
She set up a fund and organization to help families get letters and gifts to soldiers in

Christmas Time in the Trenches
What we can do to bring the Holiday Spirit to our boys--
1917 article written by Louise Glaum
"This coming Christmas will be the greatest one in the lives of most of us-- greatest because it offers the greatest opportunity to give. Never in the history of the world was there so much suffering and never was there such a need of love of ministration and of giving. ...

"Those who give the most on this next Christmas day are the boys -- our splendid, lovable American boys who have given up their business positions, money, prospects, bodily comforts and the sweetest thing in the world, home. Home at Xmas time! They are out in the tents of dreary training camps, on the bitter cold seas or worse still, in the trenches."

The actress suggests that we send care packages to the soldiers. Cigarettes, tobacco, chocolate. She also sent autographed photos, 'if you wish it,' since she also was facilitating getting gifts to the boys from their families, wives and girlfriends.

"Our families back in England were toasting us that day,
Their brave and glorious lads so far away."

Christmas in the Trenches

Documentary about the Truce of 1914

Musician and singer/songwriter John McCutcheon wrote a lovely and haunting song, Christmas in the Trenches. It's available as an MP3 or on his Winter Solstice CD. Watch to see if McCutcheonis coming to do a show in your town, you'll be glad you saw him live.

He researched the event and the historic accuracy in the lyrics makes the song all the more poignant.

"I was lying with my messmate on the cold and rocky ground
When across the lines of battle came a most peculiar sound
Says I, "Now listen up, me boys!" each soldier strained to hear
As one young German voice sang out so clear.

"He's singing bloody well, you know!" my partner says to me
Soon one by one each German voice joined in in harmony
The cannons rested silent, the gas clouds rolled no more
As Christmas brought us respite from the war.

As soon as they were finished and a reverent pause was spent
"God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" struck up some lads from Kent
The next they sang was "Stille Nacht," "Tis 'Silent Night'," says I
And in two tongues one song filled up that sky. ....

Soon one by one on either side walked into No Man's land
With neither gun nor bayonet we met there hand to hand
We shared some secret brandy and we wished each other well
And in a flare-lit soccer game we gave 'em hell. ....

-- excerpt Christmas in the Trenches, John McCutcheon

McCutcheon is touring the US and Canada for the next several months. He sings a variety of songs and plays a variety of instruments. You can hear Mr. McCutcheon talk about being taken to meet Frank Buckles, the last surviving American WWI veteran. Buckles died in 2011 at the age of 110.

This summer, there's to be a First World War garden commemoration at Clandon Park, Surrey. Clandon house was used as a hospital in the First World War. As part of their commemorations images placed around the gardens and grounds. 

Poppy seeds have been scattered in the daffodil meadow and the summer bedding scheme for the parterre will be based on the red, white and blue of the nurses’ uniforms. They are known for their field of daffodils.

Beautiful Red Flowers Decorative Curly Leaves Hanging Lamps
Beautiful Red Flowers Decorative Curly Leaves Hanging Lamps 
Customize, Start from scratch to create your own pendant hanging lamp or table Lamp-In-A-Box

Help for Heroes will have a Hope on the Horizon garden in the shape of the Military Cross by designer Matthew Keightley.  Mr. Keightley said that he was inspired by the example of his brother Michael who serves in the RAF regiment. His brother is due for his fifth tour of Afghanistan.

Pennard Plants will also be commemorating the outbreak of the war with two back-to-back gardens will reflect the times before and after 1914. Layouts and drawings of how the gardens will look are available on the RHS Chelsea Garden web site. 

The Soldiers' Charity and other sources promise to have photos up soon as they progress with their preparations. I can put links up here as I find them.

Keightley’s work will be rebuilt at a recovery center run by Help for Heroes in Colchester, Essex. Their efforts will continue to help and inspire long after the show is over.

Both gardens are intended to be reminders of the hardship suffered by soldiers
World War 1 Lord Kitchener Recruitment Poster
100 years ago and in current conflicts. 

Birmingham City Council has joined forces with the Royal British Legion and the charity Thrive for the floral exhibit. 

The display is to feature wartime memorabilia as well as giant poppies and reconstructions of the trenches. It should be a very moving experience to walk through. 

It takes 25 days to set up the five day flower show which is put on by the Royal Horticultural Society. They have other shows and events throughout the year in the UK. Any of us can find resources and information on their web site.

What kind of garden are you interested in? Show, Contemporary Conceptual, Romantic, Formal, Urban, Woodland, Country, Fresh Garden, Children's Garden? 

David Gandy, adventurer Ben Fogle, comedian and actor Rob Brydon, legendary chef Mary Berry. Actress Joanna Lumley (Absolutely Fabulous) tells us that wildness is wilder and the tameness is tamer this year. What else do we need to know. :)

Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show: A Centenary Celebration is from 2013. That was the year they had the Tolkien Lord of the Rings garden in association with a local library. You never know what amazing things you will find at the flower show.

This show will have something for everyone. Whether you're looking for gardening vegetables, flowers or something avant garde. There will be more than one installment that fit into the category of healing gardens. One, designer Olivia Kirk's Well Child garden, will be for the benefit and comfort of children who are ill. 

Poster World War One Recruitment
Help! The Woman's Land Army of America,
New Jersey Division, State House, Trenton

Ms. Rowe has been traveling to select trees, blocks of limestone and other items that are just right for her No Man's Land garden.

The show promises to be enthralling this year. The new Discovery area in the Great Pavilion will be full of scientific and educational exhibits including a display about the botanical source of paper.

Do you have anything planned, are you attending any commemorative events this year? Attending an event is a good opportunity for education and reflection.

Bette Davis,Marlene Dietrich,Bob Hope, Hollywood Canteen

I've chosen a group of favorite films with World War One themes
These run pretty regularly on TV. 
They're probably available at your library. 
You can buy them or stream them.

The Fighting 69th with James Cagney, Pat O'Brien, George Brent
Paths of Glory, Kirk Douglas, Adolphe Menjou, directed by Stanley Kubrick

Hell's Angels; Jean Harlow, Ben Lyon

Steven Spielberg's War Horse adapted from the Broadway play which uses a life-size horse puppet.
Wings; Clara Bow, Richard Arlen [Blu-ray] Winner of the first Best Picture Academy Award.
Joyeux Noel (Widescreen)

Sergeant York
(Two-Disc Special Edition); Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan

King & Country
; Dirk Bogarde

Links to Related Pages of Interest: 

Tributes to lost heroes and loved ones, Choosing Songs for Memorials and Events

Recycled Instruments - Repurposing a broken piano for the garden

Nurses in War and Military Films 

Bay Area, California Gardening, Urban Farming Camps

Resources, More Information:

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Clandon Park, Clandon House, Surrey

Find out when John McCutcheon will be performing near you

*A  note about links: Please note that links will open in separate windows for your convenience. You can close them and go back to this blog article in its original window.  

Photo-Play Journal Holiday 1917

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