First amateur bid to bloom at Chelsea

Queen Elizabeth and celebrities will get the first look at the Chelsea Flower Show today, as horticulturalists from all over the world exhibit their immaculately designed gardens.

First amateur bid to bloom at Chelsea

Home-grown talent will vie with designers from as far afield as Australia and Dubai to win the coveted title of best show garden at the world-renowned exhibition.

And for the first time in its century-long history, an amateur will compete with professionals for the award.

Sean Murray, a nurse from Ashington in Northumberland, claimed his spot on the main bloom-lined boulevard after winning the BBC’s Great Chelsea Garden Challenge.

Also hoping to get the royal seal of approval is designer Matt Keightley, 30, who has created a southern-African themed garden for Sentebale, a charity co-founded by Prince Harry, which helps poor children in the kingdom of Lesotho. Mr Keightley, who designed a garden for the Help for Heroes charity at last year’s show, said: “It is such a privilege being part of the show.

“I’m hoping the Queen will like it; that would be the icing on the cake.”

He was tasked with creating a garden inspired by the charity’s new children’s centre, and the garden promises to “transport” visitors in Chelsea, west London, “to the landscape of Lesotho in southern Africa”.

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