Chelsea gold for Birmingham

Birmingham City Council and the Royal British Legion scoop a Gold and the President’s Award at Chelsea Flower Show.

Birmingham City Council and the Royal British Legion have scooped a Gold award and the coveted President’s Award at the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show for their spectacular World War One-themed display, created and designed by veterans.

Her Majesty The Queen also paid a visit to the show garden in Chelsea’s giant pavilion yesterday where she was guided through a modern-day floral mock-up of a trench created by gardeners from Birmingham City Council and national charity Thrive, which runs a Legion-funded project in Birmingham which uses horticulture as a route to recovery for veterans with mental and physical health issues.

Darren Share, Head of Parks for Birmingham City Council, said:“The team behind Birmingham’s beautiful display has worked incredibly hard to bring home a Gold from Chelsea.  Staff from Birmingham City Council’s Parks department have worked alongside members of the Royal British Legion and national charity Thrive to create a moving tribute to honour the Servicemen and women who fell in the Great War.  Not only that but the process of producing the display been helpful to a number of veterans with mental and physical health issues so this award also celebrates the pioneering work that Thrive supports.”

Inspired by the events of WW1, the show-stopping design – made entirely from flowers and sustainable materials – tells a story of battle, from trench warfare to fighting in the skies. The garden also features floral representations of goods made in Birmingham to help the war effort including Hudson whistles, famously used to signal troops ‘over the top’ of the trenches and the Birmingham Small Arms Company folding bike.

The City of Birmingham train, which once transported wounded soldiers to the city’s military hospitals, is seen recreated out of flowers while at the centre, five gigantic poppies will tower above the display to form a waterfall.Jane Britton, the Legion’s Area Manager in the West Midlands, said:
“As the nation’s custodian of Remembrance, the Legion has a special role to play in this year’s Centenary commemorations.Our Chelsea Flower Show display, in collaboration with Birmingham City Council, is a moving tribute to the men of Birmingham that gave their lives in the service of our country – and serves as a poignant reminder of the work our brave Servicemen and women do today”.

Following the Chelsea Flower Show the display will be featured at Gardener’s World Live at The National Exhibition Centre from 12th-15th June before being recreated in a high-profile site in Birmingham where it will remain until the end of September.