Gallery: Suffolk exhibitors in full colour at Chelsea Flower Show

The Chelsea Flower Show 2013 was in full bloom as it opened it's doors to the press and celebrities

The Chelsea Flower Show 2013 was in full bloom as it opened it's doors to the press and celebrities galore. Judging at the Ken Muirs strawberriies stand. - Credit: Archant

Exhibitors and judges woke to a grey Chelsea morning yesterday but the centennial Royal Horticultural Society flower show at the Royal Hospital was awash with colour, despite the cold spring months.

Maureen Lipman with her decoupage rocking horse

Maureen Lipman with her decoupage rocking horse - Credit: Archant

Several people claimed this year’s flowering is about four weeks later than usual, affecting some of the displays.

Italian Terrace

Italian Terrace - Credit: Archant

But local exhibitors, including Bosch, based in Stowmarket, Mr Fothergill’s Seeds of Kentford, Newmarket; Ken Muir Ltd (strawberries), of Clacton and Square Root Planters, of Borley Green, Sudbury, were all on top form.

Harrod Horticultural of Lowestoft. (l-r) Andy Barringer, Stephanie Harrod, Jane Bowling and Alex Roc

Harrod Horticultural of Lowestoft. (l-r) Andy Barringer, Stephanie Harrod, Jane Bowling and Alex Rocke of harood seen through the Centenary Gazebo - Credit: Archant

Lowestoft’s Harrod Horticultural celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Chelsea Flower Show with its Centenary Gazebo.

David Turner, product manager of Fothergill's Seeds, Newmarket, makes a fair represenation of the co

David Turner, product manager of Fothergill's Seeds, Newmarket, makes a fair represenation of the company's logo at the Chelsea Flower Show - Credit: Archant

In the Grand Pavilion King and Co (The Tree Nursery) Ltd, of Braintree, was celebrating an even bigger birthday with a display of plants and artwork dedicated to the 450th anniversary of Felsted School.

Carol Lammas of Garden Art and Design, Bury St Edmunds, at the Chelsea Flower Show

Carol Lammas of Garden Art and Design, Bury St Edmunds, at the Chelsea Flower Show - Credit: Archant


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Headmaster Dr Mike Walker, head girl Sarah Jane Horne, of Dunmow, Jenny Burrett, who runs the Prep School, and arts teacher Hannah Grace joined proprietor Paul King at the exhibit.

Hannah, a former pupil of Northgate High School, Ipswich, and fellow Felsted tutor David Smith designed and created the Follyfield theme of the exhibit with lower-sixth art students.

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Follyfield house, originally built in the 1920s, was destroyed by fire last year but building is about to start on a new house which is due to open for the school’s official 450th anniversary in 2014.

The exhibit told its story from the fiery plants, through to a wrought iron sculpture of a circle of figures and, showing the continuity of the school, on to a picture of the Queen Mother who visited the school on the occasion of its quadricentenary.

At the Waitrose NFU stand, flower grower Ron Geater, of Leiston, once again provided an array of alstroemeria, delphiniums and lisanthus for sculptural display of fruit and vegetables and floral arrangements.

At Harveys Garden Plants, of Bury St Edmunds, Jan Cavell said the weather had affected the exhibit in that some plants they would usually use were not ready but others, which are often over by mid-May, had been in bloom.

Jan revealed that five of the Erythonium on the display had earlier been purloined by the Grand Pavilion’s resident blackbird but the display had been adjusted to cover the loss.

Chelsea Monday is also celebrity day, of course. Among them was comedian Rob Brydon, who was asked by journalist if he liked gardening. “No,” he replied.

At the Kentish Stevenson Brothers stand, actress Maureen Lipman showed off the rocking horse she decorated. Hers was one of 10 painted by celebrities in support of Chiva Africa, a charity which helps save children with HIV in Africa.

Miss Lipman said she had decided that, rather than paint, she would use decoupage to cover her rocking horse.

“I got animal print tissue paper and I was up until 3am most mornings,” she said, adding she had done the work over a period of three months.

“His name is Orson,” she said.

“As in Welles?” I queried.

“As in ’orse ’n’ cart,” she said.

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