Growers from County Durham have taken two of the top prizes at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show.
Gold Awards went to to the Peterlee-based National Chrysanthemum Society and the Harperley Hall Farm Nurseries as the annual flower show kicked off in London.
The Queen toured the world famous flower show yesterday, where the Laurent-Perrier garden, designed by Luciano Giubbilei, won the top prize of being the best show garden.
The awards were handed out as the world famous flower show opened its doors to thousands of members of the public, who got to see the show in cooler weather than the scorching conditions of the past few days.
Alex Denman, RHS head of shows development, said: “The RHS Chelsea Flower Show stands for the highest levels of horticultural excellence, and the exhibitors this year have demonstrated their incredible level of knowledge and ability with their fantastic exhibits.”
“The achievement of Laurent-Perrier is fantastic. The attention to detail and evocative feel of the stunning garden from Luciano is a great tribute to his skill as well as the growers and landscapers who have contributed to their garden.”
A show garden designed to commemorate the First World War - representing a landscape marked by the fighting in northern France, including trenches, a mine crater pond and the yew trees found in war cemeteries - scooped a coveted gold medal.
The No Man’s Land ABF The Soldiers’ Charity Garden to mark the centenary of the First World War was designed by Charlotte Rowe, who drew on inspiration from her grandfather who was injured on the first day of the Somme and a visit to the battlefields.
There were silver-gilt medals for first-time Chelsea designers Matthew Childs, who designed the Brewin Dolphin show garden, and Matthew Keightley, who drew on his brother’s experiences in the RAF Regiment in Afghanistan for the Help for Heroes garden.
Six show gardens got gold medals, along with three fresh gardens. The smaller, artisan, DialAFlight Potter’s Garden, which represented a rural potter going to fight in the First World War, also got gold.
In total seven show gardens received silver-gilt medals, along with two fresh gardens and three artisan gardens, including the Viking Cruises Norse Garden which celebrates the Viking spirit of exploration and adventure.
The exhibit had seen some “Vikings” pitching in to do a spot of gardening before the Chelsea Flower Show opened to the public.