Chelsea Flower Show fans pick plant for centenary

Rhododendron yakushimanum one of the plants selected. Picture: PA

Rhododendron yakushimanum one of the plants selected. Picture: PA

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Ten blooms have been selected to mark 100 years of the Chelsea Flower Show, and the public is being asked to vote for which should be show plant of the centenary.

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has drawn up a list of ten plants launched at the show since 1913, with one flower taken from each decade of the world-famous gardening exhibition.

They range from an Iceberg rose to varieties of lupin, geranium and rhododendron.

To help people make up their minds which should be the overall show plant of the cent-ury, the RHS has enlisted ten amateur gardeners aged from eight to 92, each championing the plant from the decade in which they were born.

The 1913-22 candidate Saxifraga Tumbling Waters is championed by 92-year-old ex-paratrooper Sergeant Stan Pepper, from London.

Rosie Ghuman, aged eight, from London, is a fan of 2003-12 candidate Streptocarpus Harlequin Blue

People can cast their vote for show plant of the centenary at the show next month or online at www.rhs.org.uk/chelsea/potc. The event has been held in the grounds of the Chelsea Hospital every year since 1913, apart from gaps during the two world wars.

It used to be Britain’s largest flower show but it has been overtaken by Hampton Court. However, it is the most prestigious. From the beginning, it has contained both nursery exhibits and model gardens. Every year there have been exhibits from overseas as well as from Britain.

It is the flower show most associated with the royal family, whose members attend the opening day every year.

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