Balfron dad wins gold at Chelsea Flower Show

Callum gray Chelsea Flower Show
Callum gray Chelsea Flower Show

A Balfron stonemason was celebrating this week after the exhibit he helped create won Best in Show at the Chelsea Flower Show.

Callum Gray (40) spent five days working on the stunning exhibit using 20 tons of stone he sourced from a quarry in Denny.

Callum said: “The exhibit was themed on an eco-friendly billabong.

“Water was pumped over rocks and purified. The whole thing was designed to be self-containing, with the pump powered by solar power.

“As well winning Best in Show, I also won a gold medal.

“I don’t think it has sunk in yet.

Callum, who runs his own business, Keltie Landscapes, which specialises in traditional stone work such as dry stone walling, got involved in the project after advising the designer, Phillip Johnson, on the best type of stone to use.

Callum said: “He asked me to help him build the stone base of the structure.

“I also had some design input into it when I suggested the wall should be curved around the spiral staircase to fit in with the flowing lines of the water.

“It was an amazing experience and a once in a lifetime thing to do.

“To work with 15 experts all doing different disciplines is something I have never done before.”

Dad-of-three Callum added: “Watching it all come together over the five days was a site I will never forget.

“Normally I work on my own, so it was very different working on a project as a team.”

The Chelsea Flower Show attracts thousands of visitors every years. It’s on all this week in London.

Phillip Johnson was commissioned by the Australian horticultural specialists Flemings Nurseries to design the Trailfinders Australian Garden for this year’s show.

The garden focuses on Australia’s natural beauty and mother nature’s timeless design.

The exhibit challenges the conventional garden design, whilst incorporating best environmental practice in an urban environment.

The garden design incorporates water capture and conservation, site-defined plant selection, promotion of biodiversity and habitat creation, the use of recycled materials and solar power, and bushfire suppression systems.

The result is a stunning oasis that judges felt was in keeping with the environmentally sensitive times we are living in today.

The focal points of the exhibit are the gorge and waterfalls.

It also features an eco-friendly studio and roof section with solar panels to generate enough power for the whole landscape.