NFU display is a hit with visitors at Chelsea

Celebrities and visitors have showered praise on the NFU and Waitrose stand at Chelsea Flower Show this year.

Alan Tichmarsh and Owen Paterson at Chelsea Flower

Alan Tichmarsh and Secretary of State Owen Paterson, Hairy Biker Dave Myers, Esther Ransen and Antonio Carluccio were a few of the high profile visitors to the display.

Take a look at the other pictures from Chelsea Flower Show 2014.

Titled Backing British Farmers and Growers the stand showcases plants, flowers, fruit and vegetables from across the country. Nothing is grown specially for the show, it is all seasonal and available to purchase in stores. The quality of the design and produce has been recognised by the judges with a Silver Gilt award.

Designed by Penny Riley, the stand incorporates British willow. Grower Jonathan Coate contributed willow in a plethora of colours despite being a victim of the flooding in Somerset with his crop under 10ft water.

Award winning Herefordshire fruit grower Anthony Snell sits on the national and regional NFU horticulture boards, he said that when Berry Gardens was asked to supply produce for the Chelsea display they were more than happy to help out. Berry Gardens is a grower-owned co-operative and supplies Britain’s retailer all year around with fruit.

He said: “We are delighted to be showcasing great British strawberries and raspberries at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show and it was great to be asked to get involved.

“We are all very excited as we’ve had an early start to the soft fruit season here in the UK, with ideal conditions for growing great tasting British berries and as an industry we are confident we will be able to supply our produce for longer, replacing imports.” 

NFU horticultural adviser, Chris Hartfield, said: “Visitors to the stand have waxed lyrical about the display, they love it.

“It is disappointing that we haven’t been awarded gold but our aim is to promote what British farmers and growers can and do produce. It has been a great success and with the response we’ve had from visitors I think we’ve definitely achieved that.”

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson who visited the stand said: “I congratulate the NFU on their medal at RHS Chelsea. Their stunning display demonstrates the wealth of delicious food our farmers produce and why the UK's food and agricultural industries are helping to drive our economic recovery.

"We import so much food that could and should be grown in the UK, and the NFU display is a reminder of the top quality produce we have on our doorstep.”

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