Centenary Chelsea Flower Show design unveiled

Royal British Legion, Birmingham City Council and Thrive collaborate on show-stopping design.

The Royal British Legion and Birmingham City Council have unveiled a spectacular World War One-themed design to be displayed at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show from 20th – 24th May as part of its Centenary commemorations.

In partnership with Birmingham City Council’s Parks Department and horticultural charity Thrive, a garden has been designed to give a moving tribute to honour the servicemen and women who fell in the Great War.

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.

Darren Share, Head of Parks for Birmingham City Council, said: “This year’s Chelsea Flower Show offered the perfect opportunity to design a display that would commentate 100 years since Britain entered the First World War.

“As a manufacturing hub, Birmingham played a key role in the war effort – a wide variety of goods made in the city were used by troops on the frontline. In partnership with The Royal British Legion and Thrive, we have created a display which aims to tell the story of Birmingham’s vital contribution to the Great War.”

The floral display has been created with help from national charity THRIVE, which runs a local project in Birmingham which is funded by the Legion and uses horticulture as a route to recovery for veterans with mental and physical health issues. Local veterans have designed and built the display which will be showcased at the critically-acclaimed flower show this May.

Jane Britton, the Legion’s Area Manager in the West Midlands, added, “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 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.

 “Formed in 1921 to help those who had suffered as a result of service in the Great War, the Legion remains as relevant as ever today, spending £1.6 million a week delivering welfare services for members of the Armed Forces community most in need.”

Following 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.