Gippsland and the Chelsea Flower Show … Here We Come!!!!

I just noticed how long it’s been since I’ve posted and I am flabbergasted!!!! Where did those months go …. actually I know where …  in a flurry of activity drying and refurbishing our wonderful nets.  I promise we have not been idle. Plus we have been working on the next exciting steps for our beautiful poppies.  So much to tell you!!!!!

We are now travelling with the Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience, currently in Tasmania but coming to Bendigo in November and then continuing it’s journey around Australia.  You must see this wonderful exhibition … tickets are free but you need to book.  Numbers are strictly limited for each session and tightly controlled. I can’t wait til it comes to Melbourne so I can have a good look.

We have a wonderful exhibition on at the National Vietnam Veterans Museum until the end of December

IMG_1930 EditWe have supported the Australian Craft and Quilt Show with their wonderful and inspirational exhibition with our own piece … A Nation Weeps …

And over November the poppies will be heading down to Gippsland Victoria for a Shire wide collaboration of poppy pandemonium … 40 nets plus lots of stems, strings and loose poppies will find themselves spread throughout 12 towns in Gippsland including Newhaven, Cowes, Wonthaggi, Morwell, Warragul, Trafalgar, Briagolong, Bairnsdale, Lakes Entrance, Paynesville, Orbost and Omeo staged by Creative Gippsland, Regional Arts Victoria and many community groups coming together.  You can find out more information in the weeks leading up to the event on the Regional Arts Victoria facebook page or website.

Displaying Creative Gippsland logo 2012.jpg          Displaying RAV logo black on white.jpg

The next major installation will be at the Chelsea Flower Show in London in May next year.  We are so excited about being invited to be a part of Chelsea … it really is the pinnacle of horticultural events world wide with a television audience on more than 3.5 billion … Of course our own Phillip Johnson‘s wonderful success story at Chelsea in 2013 probably had something to do with the invitation … nevertheless the Victorian Government through the Department of Premier and Cabinet has agreed to be our major sponsor for the event and we cannot thank Premier Daniel Andrews, the Minister for Veterans Affairs John Eren, the Victorian Anzac Centenary Committee and their teams for their tireless work in finding the funding to get us to Chelsea .. it’s a coup for all of us and we are planning to do everyone proud.

Lynn and Phillip with the Minister for Veterans Affairs, the Hon John Eren MP

After Chelsea we are hoping to do a short but poignant tour of the Western Front … perhaps not with all the poppies but a portion … 2016 is a huge year in European war history and we would love to be able to share our wonderful community tribute in some way … more news on this as it unfolds.

Although the nets all stood up relatively well to the rigors of ANZAC Day … they are quite dirty and all of the glued poppies were damaged.  We lost most of the attached dedications in the rain as well and the nets have stretched somewhat with the weight.  Of course we want our poppies to be perfect to visit Her Majesty  in her home down, so we have spent the last 4 or 5 months removing, washing, repairing poppies and replacing them on to the nets.  It’s been a HUGE undertaking with a very small group of volunteer helpers in my home.  We have enjoyed the process and wonderful friendships have been cemented … not to mention the gorgeous foodstuffs consumed over lunch.  We have completed 40 nets and still have 40 to go and will need to step up our net repair program to meet our deadlines.

We also now also have the enormous task of creating 20,000 additional stemmed poppies to take with us.  This mammoth task will be coordinated for us by Susan McDougall … who many of you who worked with us on the nets in Melbourne will remember as our erstwhile coordinator.  So that will be an enormous but incredibly worthwhile task.  Australian Country Spinners have agreed to sponsor us with yarn to make the poppy stems … a whopping 70kg of premium acrylic yarn and we will be looking for teams of people to take on the task of making stems and assembling poppies around Victoria.  More on this in the next week or so when we are a little more advanced with our planning.

11080895_883766694999985_7080525445797966013_nIn the meantime … we need more poppies.  More more more.  We are looking to gather an additional 20,000 poppies for our stems.  I know that many of you have poppies waiting for a home … and would love to send them in to us.  We are quite precise in our requirements because these special poppies will need to be able to hold their own if it rains … so they must be tightly knit or crocheted and not too small.  We are suggesting using the same patterns used on the blog but with a size smaller hook or needle than you would normally use.   They must be red but you can get as creative as you like with your centres.  These babies are going to see the Queen (along with all the others of course).

So more news to follow … and I promise I will be good and post more often.

Hope we can get you on board to help us to manage the enormous task ahead of us … but one of course, that will be well and truly worth it.



About 5000 Poppies

The 5000 Poppies Project is a community tribute of respect and remembrance for our servicemen and women, their families and their communities. Created in 2013 by sisters in law Lynn Berry and Margaret Knight in honour of their fathers service in WWII, the project has been closely aligned with the Centenary of Anzac 2014 to 2018, and has consisted of a number of small and large scale installations made from handcrafted poppies from many thousands of contributors from all over the world.
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29 Responses to Gippsland and the Chelsea Flower Show … Here We Come!!!!

  1. Lyn Johnson says:

    Can’t wait for the Warragul display. Great to know of the ongoing activities. Congratulations to you Lyn and your team.

  2. matilemile says:

    Congratulations Lynn, Margaret and your wonderful team.
    I hope there will be details of the travel (including dates) soon so we can start saving and maybe making some bookings. I’d love to be in France with you when you go there…

    • 5000poppies says:

      Would love that too Meredith. What an amazing journey.
      Still working on the French connections … but hopefully we will make it there.
      Keep your eyes peeled for information.

      • matilemile says:

        Will do Lynn. Meanwhile, I’d better get out the red yarn again and make a few more. My poppies have been left in New Zealand, France, Belgium and most recently Gallipoli, so it would be nice to send some to England as well.

      • matilemile says:

        If there’s anything I can do to help with the French side of things (for example, with the language) please let me know.

  3. Sue Bottel says:

    Congratulations Lynne and Margaret on the latest achievements, I will arrange for the members of my group to knit and crochet more poppies for the Chelsea Flower Show and will be in touch.
    We have planned a visit to England next year and booked May, hoping to visit the Show and see the display. Will be in touch, hope to help more.

  4. yay and on it goes… the story should never be forgotten as those that laid their lives down should not be forgotten. Great work to all involved…so Susan McD is our PSM (Poppy Sergeant Major) whip us all into line and make sure we get the task done. A wonderful person for the job. I look forward to working with you all again.

  5. Diane Collyer says:

    I have been knitting knee rugs for local nursing homes in the interim but will now get back to the poppies.Is there a cutoff date next year when it will be too late to send them.  Keep me posted.

    Cheers, Diane. XXX

  6. Inah Fletcher says:

    Hi Lyn,Thanks for the update I’ve been wondering how the poppies were going,they are having a busy time.I would love to be involved again if help is needed Inah

    Sent from my iPad


    • 5000poppies says:

      Thanks Inah,
      Right now we are after more poppies … tightly knit or crochet to sit nicely on top of stems to “plant” at Chelsea. Certainly need a lot so that would be fabulous. And shortly, we will need teams of people to make stems and assemble poppies. It’s a huge undertaking but nothing the likes of which we haven’t done before.
      Keep your eye on the blog and join us on facebook for updates.

  7. Kay Wagland says:

    Fantastic! How are you today after the big trip yesterday?

    Sent from my iPad


  8. Terry says:

    Congratulations, what an honour and wonderful recognition of your efforts.

  9. helaitken says:

    Wonderful to get an update on the poppies and their continuing journey. I would definitely love to help in any way I can – it was such an inspirational project to be even a tiny bit a part of! Warmest regards, Helen Aitken

    • 5000poppies says:

      Thanks Helen,
      Right now we are after more poppies … tightly knit or crochet to sit nicely on top of stems to “plant” at Chelsea. Certainly need a lot so that would be fabulous. And shortly, we will need teams of people to make stems and assemble poppies. It’s a huge undertaking but nothing the likes of which we haven’t done before.
      Keep your eye on the blog and join us on facebook for updates.

  10. Jane Fisher says:

    I will get right back into doing some more Poppies, would love to see them in England. Can you tell me what date the Chelsea Flower show is on as we’re hoping to be in UK for Her Majesty’s 90th birthday on 11th & 12th June and maybe we can combine the flower show with that. Thank you for all the fantastic work you and your team have done, I was very proud to be involved in knitting these beautiful Poppies.

    • 5000poppies says:

      Hi Rana,
      Wonderful … would love to see a few more poppies … who knew?
      The flower show is on 24-28 May so timing is not too bad.
      It will be a wonderful thing … and I am so excited.
      Maybe I will see you in London … hope we get a chance to reconnect.

  11. Rana Wilson says:

    HI Lyn, I am sure you wouldn’t remember me, but I helped in town with the net assembly over the last few weeks, and I really enjoyed myself and the company. Unfortunately my husband passed away in June and now I am getting back on my feet I have been wondering what I will do to fill in my time.I am not as gifted as a lot of you ladies are but i can do the hard yakka and would love to give a hand in any way I can. I will get the needles and the red wool out again .Glad to hear all the great news.

  12. Lesley Abrahams says:

    Thank you for the update. I have a bag of poppies left over from our local Family History Society display, and from a small collection which were too late for use on Anzac Day. We also used some on our book about the Hungerford Family in WWI, which has been launched this weekend. I can try to send pictures for you, but will also put together some poppies to send to you. What address do we use? Lesley in Dubbo

    • 5000poppies says:

      Hi Lesley,
      I would love to see photos of the book launch. Congratulations.
      Poppies can be sent to P.O. Box 115, Ashburton, Vic 3147
      Thank you so much.

  13. Lyn Shaw says:

    Hi Lynne & Margaret, I can supply you with approx 1200 firm poppies. I live in Inverloch, Vic. just need to know where the drop-off address is, and closing date.
    Congratulations to you both for your amazing effort in all that has eventuated from this now famous poppy production!
    Regards, Lyn

  14. Norma Gallacher says:

    Thought you might be interested . It pays to connect with the right people e.g. the Premier >

  15. Rosalie Lethlean says:

    Hi good to see your still up and going have so much enjoyed your journey. Could you re send your pattern for the poppies.Regards Rosalie

    Sent from my iPad


    • 5000poppies says:

      Hi Rosalie,
      You can find the poppy patterns for Chelsea here :
      How exciting.

    • Lyn Shaw says:

      Hi Lynn & Margaret, After the success in Inverloch, Vic with the poppies, I have an excess of approx. 1200 to donate. Can you please let me know where I can send them for addition to the next stage of the project. Amazing work accomplished by you both plus the volunteers. Regards, Lyn Shaw

      Sent from my iPad


      • 5000poppies says:

        Hi Lyn,
        How wonderful.
        You can send them to P.O. Box 115, Ashburton Vic 3147
        Or they can be dropped off to 46 Flowerdale Road Glen Iris.
        So exciting.

      • Lyn Shaw says:

        Forgot to ask when the cut-off date is for supplies of more poppies? I shall have to deliver them personally as the postage cost would be horrendous, due to the weight of the amount of poppies—unless someone is coming down to Inverloch at some point in time!! Coffee and cake provided…
        Regards, Lyn Shaw

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