Plenty of success for Suffolk at RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Thomas Hoblyn, Frederic Whyte and Chris Wiley

A multitude of success stories for Suffolk have emerged from this year's RHS Chelsea Flower Show. - Credit: Annie Green-Armytage, Frederic Whyte and Charlotte Bond

A multitude of success stories for Suffolk have emerged from this year's RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Garden designer Thomas Hoblyn, based near Bury St Edmunds, won a coveted gold medal for his entry The Boodles Travel Garden. 

A posy of new sweet peas discovered by a Harkstead plant nursery owner and named in honour of celebrity gardener Peter Seabrook were presented to the Queen.

A Saxmundham-based gold medallist and Halesworth landscaper will also be bringing their garden to a county prison after the show has ended.

Thomas Hoblyn, a garden designer based near Bury St Edmunds, won a gold medal for his entry which was sponsored by Boodles.

Thomas Hoblyn showing of his gold medal

Thomas Hoblyn, a garden designer based near Bury St Edmunds, won a gold medal for his entry The Boodles Travel Garden. - Credit: Annie Green-Armytage

The garden he designed commemorated a journey taken around the world in 16 days by the chairman's father in 1960.

The garden's planting is drawn from all corners of the world and includes Cornus Controversa from East Asia and Acer Pensylvanicum from America.

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According to Boodles, it is meant to act as a calm sanctuary to reflect on the journey.

The Boodles Travel Garden

Thomas Hoblyn's award-winning garden was sponsored by Boodles, in honour of their chairman's father who travelled the world in 16 days in 1960. - Credit: Annie Green-Armytage

Mr Hoblyn set up his practice in Suffolk after graduating from The Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and becoming a member of the Society of Garden Designers. 

He has previously won three gold, five silver gilt and two silver medals.

Mr Hoblyn was also a recipient of the People's Choice Award for his Arthritis UK sponsored garden and was nominated for The People's Choice of The Decade Award in 2020.

Currently, he is involved in a variety of projects which include rewilding a stretch of riverbank in Suffolk and designing a partially submerged garden on the Norfolk Broads.

On the first day of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, a posy of new sweet peas discovered by a Harkstead plant nursery owner was presented to the Queen.

Chris Wiley with his Peter Seabrook sweet pea

Chris Wiley, 22, named the new sweet pea flower variety in honour of Peter Seabrook who was known for giving a posy of sweet peas to the Queen each year. - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Chris Wiley, 27, named the new sweet pea flower variety in honour of Peter Seabrook, from Essex, who was known for giving a posy of sweet peas to the Queen each year.

The Essex-based celebrity horticulturalist passed away in January this year aged 86.

Famous worldwide for presenting TV programmes such as BBC Gardener's World and Pebble Mill, his favourite flower was the sweet pea.

Gardening writer and broadcaster Peter Seabrook MBE cut the floral ribbon on the new Rosarium restau

Gardening writer and broadcaster Peter Seabrook MBE cut the floral ribbon on the new Rosarium restaurant at Peter Beales Roses in Attleborough. Picture: Neil Didsbury - Credit: Archant

Mr Wiley said: "He was such a kind-hearted, down-to-earth man.

"He helped me enormously to establish Sow Successful, my business based in Ipswich, over the last couple of years."

Peter Seabrook was one of the first to visit Sow Successful when it opened two years ago.

Chris Wiley studying his new sweet pea variety

A tribute display to the late gardener was shown at the Chelsea Flower Show where a posy of the Peter Seabrook sweet pea was presented to the Queen. - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Mr Wiley said: "This was my way of saying thank you."

He will shortly be deciding which mail order retailer he will be awarding exclusivity of the new variety.

Saxmundham-based gold medallist Frederic Whyte collaborated with Louis Champain, a young landscaper from Halesworth, to create their sanctuary show garden. 

Frederic Whyte

Frederic Whyte - Credit: Permission Frederic Whyte

The Stitchers' Garden was created in celebration of the 25th anniversary of Fine Cell Work, a charity which teaches prisoners and ex-prisoners to make handmade products.

The social enterprise aims to boost their self-worth, instil self-discipline and foster hope - the theme of the garden being 'Regrowth'.

A steel structure with woven willow panels replicates the dimensions of a prison space, allowing visitors to see the garden through a cell.

Also present in the garden are bright flowers meant to represent the creativity and colour that Fine Cell Work brings into the prisoners' lives.

Fine Cell Work volunteers, who teach sewing to prisoners. April Astley Birtwistle, Marcia Fenwick, S

Fine Cell Work volunteers, who teach sewing to prisoners. April Astley Birtwistle, Marcia Fenwick, Sarah O'Brien and Jane Cazalet. - Credit: Nick Butcher

A version of the garden will be on show at a Suffolk prison after the show finishes on Saturday, May 28.

The Stitchers' Garden was commissioned by Fine Cell Work and sponsored by interior designers Nina Campbell and William Yeoward.

The sponsors are both collaborating with Cath Kidston, a trustee of Fine Cell Work, to create a series of products inspired by the garden and the theme of regrowth.