AS Yorkshire toasted its blossoming real ale industry with a brewing-flavoured garden, the Chelsea Flower Show enjoyed a double Royal seal of approval with visits by the Queen and her grandson, Prince Harry.
Tourism body Welcome to Yorkshire marked its sixth year at the famous flower show with an entry to celebrate the rise of micro-breweries across the Broad Acres.
Designed by Bestall & Co, based at Renishaw Hall near Sheffield, and in partnership with Wold Top Brewery near Driffield, the garden features an old Yorkshire brewing shed complete with Yorkshire thatch roof.
Gill Mellor, director of Wold Top Brewery, trained in garden design before embarking on a life of brewing.
She described it as a “real dream come true” to exhibit at Chelsea.
The Brewers Yard garden features Yorkshire stone walling along with a water feature made using a traditional Yorkshire Square brewing vessel.
It was brought to life by Leeds-based Aire Valley Landscaping.
Prince Harry visited a garden designed by Matt Keighley, 30, who has created a southern African-themed garden for Sentebale, a charity the Prince co-founded which helps poor children in the small kingdom of Lesotho.
The Prince revealed he had yet to meet his new niece, Princess Charlotte, having just returned home after a four-week attachment to the Australian Defence Force.
Harry told the BBC: “I can’t wait to show members of my family this garden. My father’s foundation has been involved in this as well.
“This evening will be quite busy. I’ll probably be like a walking zombie. It will be great. I haven’t seen my grandma for a while, or my grandfather.
Asked about meeting Princess Charlotte, Harry added: “We’ll wait and see. That still hasn’t happened yet. I only got back yesterday afternoon. Time will tell when I have a chance.”
Yesterday’s VIP opening saw a synchronised swimming performance by the group Aquabatix, whose members took a dip in a natural pond which is part of the M&G garden.
The trio, comprising Hannah Green, 20, Robyn Bignell, 20, and Olympian Katie Clark, 21, wore hats made with 800 “Dance” chrysanthemum flowers as they dived in.
The group, who kept crowds entertained during a bit of a downpour, said they loved swimming in the natural water surrounded by British flowers.
Ms Clark said: “It is nicer to be somewhere where the water is more natural rather than in a big arena.
“Maybe the Olympic Committee should keep their eye on this – they could include it in their pools.”
Visitors were also treated to a debut at Chelsea by Chatsworth House in Derbyshire.
Designer Dan Pearson’s creation is inspired by Chatsworth’s trout stream and rockery.
The Royal Horticultural Society flower show opens to the public today and runs until Saturday May 23.