Suffolk’s Chelsea winners

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SUFFOLK horti-culturists are bringing back a haul of medals from this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

The biggest and most prestigious flower show in the world kicked off on Monday with judging and continues until Saturday.

The Royal family and a host of celebrities descended on the show on the opening day to have a look around the gardens and displays.

Entrants were told early Tuesday morning whether their efforts had been rewarded with a medal.

Mike Clare, of Potash Nursery in Bacton, earned a silver gilt medal for his cascading display of fuschias.

He said: “We found out first thing on Tuesday morning at about seven o’clock. It is the biggest and most famous flower show in the world, so getting a silver gilt is wonderful.

“We had Laurence Llewelyn Bowen have a look around our stall, I spotted Ringo Starr and Bill Bailey walking nearby, too.”

Richard Drane, who grows cacti and succulents in Lawshall, won a silver medal for his stall.

He said: “We won our third silver medal this year but were hoping for a gold.

“It is the best show in the world so it is still great getting a silver. It was nice to have lots of people coming round to look and enjoy the plants on our stand.”

****free to use****''RHS Chelsea 2011,Home Base Garden, Tom Hoblyn Homebase Garden designer

****free to use****''RHS Chelsea 2011,Home Base Garden, Tom Hoblyn Homebase Garden designer

Roger Harvey, of Harvey’s Garden Plants, in Thurston, won a silver gilt award for his woodland shade garden.

He said: “Our stand is a not just flowers but has a lot of greenery – it is like a cool oasis. We start planning for next year’s show when we get back to Suffolk, there is no point waiting around.

“The Queen walked by the stand and had a look, it is the first time she has come past our stand.”

Judges awarded a silver gilt medal to Bardwell designer Thomas Hoblyn, who created the Homebase Cornish Memories Garden, inspired by his childhood visits to the West of England.

Thomas said: “This is my most ambitious show garden to date and the design inspiration was so personal to me, so I am immensely proud to receive the award.”

Basildon Bond stationery, produced in Bury St Edmunds, was also awarded a bronze medal in the artisan garden competition. It’s garden, created and designed by William Quarmby, was centred around the company’s 100- year history.