Yorkshire will be well represented at next week’s centenary Chelsea Flower Show with garden designers, enthusiastic horticulturalists, florists and nursery exhibitors all crossing their fingers for a top award.
Among those going for gold are the keen gardeners from the West Yorkshire Group of the Hardy Plant Society who will be side by side with professional growers in the prestigious Great Pavilion with their garden Bridge in Time, 1913 to 2013.
It is the second time the group, which has about 100 members from North and West Yorkshire has been asked to take on the challenge of staging a garden at Chelsea, with plants many of them have nurtured through the winter months watching anxiously for growth in time for their display.
A wealth of talent will carry the area’s hopes in the Floristry championship with two finalists in the under 25 category and one in the higher age bracket.
Kirsty Berridge, 24 who runs her own business from a converted barn north of Scarborough has made it to the final of the Young Florist for the first time joining Stephanie Tue from Worsbrough, Barnsley, who also competed last year.
Melanie Garbutt from Passion Flowers at Upton, Pontefract, already knows the sweet smell of success having been named Florist of the Year at Chelsea in 2010 but she has had to make preparations for her category this time while suffering from shingles.
All three have to stage an entry on the topic “Never ending circle” celebrating Chelsea’s centenary.
Nigel Dunnett, professor of Planting design and vegetation technology and director of the Green Roof Centre at the University of Sheffield, whose input into the planting at London’s Olympic Park won high praise is again collaborating with the Landscape Agency in a garden for the Royal Bank of Canada.
His Blue Water Roof Garden is his third for the bank and every aspect of the design is about supporting wildlife and bio-diversity.
Jamie Dunstan who won a Gold Medal and the Best Urban Garden Award in 2011 is hoping for equal success with his current garden for Stockton Drilling Ltd entitled As Nature Intended.
Central to his design is an organic structure which combines woven willow and yew hedging to form a wall and frame a stone sculpture.
The plants used are ones which mankind has become reliant on for various reasons, as diverse as winter barley and digitalis, many from the family run nursery at Braithwell near Rotherham.
Another South Yorkshire designer aiming to catch the judges’ eyes is Graham Bodle, whose family founded Walkers nursery and garden centre at Blaxton near Doncaster 60 years ago.
Britain’s rarest orchid will be on display in the Welcome to Yorkshire entry in the Artisan gardens.
The Lady’s Slipper Orchid which is looked after by its own panel of botanical experts called the Cypripedium Committee was brought back from the brink of extinction by scientists at Kew Garden.
Le Jardin de Yorkshire has been inspired by Yorkshire’s successful bid to host the Grand Depart of next year’s Tour de France and will include a peleton of bike represented by a series of silver hoops.
A Garden commissioned by the Food and Environment Research Agency at Sand Hutton, near York unusually aims to highlight the damaging effects of pests, diseases and invasive non-native species.
Brothers David and Harry Rich were invited to submit a design for a small garden after winning the best in show at the RHS Flower Show in Cardiff. David is a final year landscape and architecture and design student at Leeds Met, the course from which his brother graduated in 2008.
Un Garreg, meaning one stone will reflect their “naturalistic design style.”
Prince Harry paid a surprise visit to see his charity Sentebale’s garden being set up at the Chelsea Flower Show.
The prince spent several minutes chatting to designer Jinny Blom as he was shown around the B&Q Sentebale garden.