Suffolk nurseries bloom with RHS Chelsea Show medals

Roger Harvey with his wife Teresa, daughter Rose and their Chelsea Gold Medal
Roger Harvey with his wife Teresa, daughter Rose and their Chelsea Gold Medal
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It was back to the Gold Medals at Chelsea Flower Show for one Suffolk nursery while another was just one point short of one.

Roger Harvey of Thurston’s Harvey’s Garden Plants took his sixth Gold at this week’s Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Show, while Mike and Sarah Clare’s Potash Nursery at Bacton had its 11th Silver Gilt award in a row.

Mike Clare of Potash Nursery with his Silver Gilt winning Chelsea display ANL-150520-143821001

Mike Clare of Potash Nursery with his Silver Gilt winning Chelsea display ANL-150520-143821001

For Roger it was a return to the Gold after a two year break from the medals.

“It’s good to be back because after a while you start to doubt yourself,” he said.

He says the weather was good to them this year, not being too warm. Harvey’s specialises in woodland shade plants which prefer to flower in April, so they must be held back in a chiller room at three degrees.

But these shade lovers react quickly to light. Roger explained: “Eythroniums, for example, still grow in the cold room and when you take them out, within an hour they are in full flower even at 10 to 15 degrees. You then hope they’ll hold out.”

Mike admits missing gold was disappointing, but he added: “When you reflect you realise it’s the biggest, best known flower show in the world and we were just one point off gold – we’re still really proud.”

Potash Nursery specialises in fuschias and pelargoniums and prefers to grow the plants naturally for the best display.

“The season started well, all growing nicely, then they seemed to stop in February,” he said. “It was only in the last few weeks they’ve moved along and, luckily, we had enough to make a display.