Chelsea medals reward hard work

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THIS year’s odd weather made getting ready for Chelsea Flower Show tough for Suffolk nurseries, but they still walked off with medals.

Roger Harvey and his team at Harvey’s Garden Plants in Great Green, Thurston, had to slow some plants in cold storage while others stood on the underfloor heating in Roger’s home to bring on.

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But it was worthwhile because after two years of silver gilt awards, they got their green fingers on their fifth gold.

Roger said on Tuesday: “This is especially important for us.”

Roger and staff Jan Cavell and Helen Christie built a display of woodland and shade-loving plants with a stream running through a bank of primulas. As well as Roger’s signature hellebores it included a new erythronium called Hidcote Beauty he is marketing for Hidcote Manor, Glos, where it was first grown.

Sarah and Mike Clare, from Potash Nursery, Bacton, usually display only fuchsias at Chelsea but they flowered late this year so they added scented leaf pelargoniums and won a seventh silver gilt.

The Arthritis Research UK Garden. Designed by: Tom Hoblyn. Sponsored by: Arthritis Research UK. RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2012

The Arthritis Research UK Garden. Designed by: Tom Hoblyn. Sponsored by: Arthritis Research UK. RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2012

Sarah said: “A week ago we were worried we wouldn’t be able to do it.”

Potash only sells plants online at wwwpotashnursery.co.uk.

The weather even gave Richard and Sheena Drane from The Street, Lawshall, problems with their succulents and cacti.

Richard said: “They started growing early in the year because of the sun we had in March so we had trouible getting the flower colour we normally have.”

But the judges were still impressed because for the first time in six years showing at Chelsea they went up from silver to a gold award.

One of those on show is thought to be 60 years old. “It’s celebrating its jubilee like the Queen,” he said. They will have much younger specimens on their stall at the Plant Fair in Bury’s Abbeygate Street on Bank Holiday Sunday and Monday.

A silver gilt award also went to garden designer Tom Hoblyn, from Bardwell, for his garden for the Arthritis Research UK charity. He was not available for comment.