Hwang Jihae: two Chelsea gold medals and now the RHS President’s Award

Hwang Jihae and her DMZ Forbidden Garden before the opening
Hwang Jihae and her DMZ Forbidden Garden on the Saturday before the show opened (photo: Linda Grove)

HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to Hwang Jihae for winning the RHS President’s Award – an award which in the past has always been given to a display in the main pavilion. The attention to detail and the meticulous planting caught the eye of President Elizabeth Banks, who in her time has herself won five Chelsea Gold Medals. Congratulations also to Dan Flynn of GardenLink who made sure the garden happened. An amazing achievement for the whole team.

Hwang had no idea that the award was coming her way. Her team received a call on Friday morning (24 May) to tell them that she should be at her garden at 12:30, but they weren’t told why. Then, at 12:30 the RHS President showed up with the BBC cameras and gave the award.

Later that day, TV presenter Carol Klein visited the DMZ Forbidden Garden, and found the experience so moving that she was in tears.

Carol Klein crying with Hwang Jihae in her Gold medal DMZ garden at Chelsea Flower show
Hwang Jihae comforts TV presenter and gardener Carol Klein, overcome by emotion when she visited the DMZ Forbidden Garden yesterday (photo: Linda Grove)

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