Top award for trench display as Chelsea opens doors to public

A bi-plane sprouting grass, part of Birmingham City Council's World War One themed garden  at the Royal Hospital in Chelsea
A bi-plane sprouting grass, part of Birmingham City Council's World War One themed garden at the Royal Hospital in Chelsea
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A floral display featuring a wartime trench and a bi-plane to mark the centenary of the First World War has won a top award at the Chelsea Flower Show.

The display by Birmingham City Council – which includes a trench packed with sandbags and tiny metal rats, colourful planting and a giant poppy fountain – picked up the President’s Award for Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) president Sir Nicholas Bacon’s favourite exhibit.

The Queen had already given the royal seal of approval to the exhibit when she toured the world-famous flower show, noting in was a “rather nice trench” in contrast to the grim conditions that First World War soldiers would have faced.

The Laurent-Perrier garden, designed by Luciano Giubbilei, won the best show garden; the Mind’s Eye – a sensory garden by the RNIB – won the best “fresh” garden award; and the best artisan garden prize went to Japanese garden Togenkyo – A Paradise on Earth. All three also won RHS gold medals.

The awards were handed out as Chelsea 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.

RHS head of shows development Alex Denman 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.”