COLUMN: Everything’s coming up roses

Peter Beales Chelsea Diary ANL-140325-155331001
Peter Beales Chelsea Diary ANL-140325-155331001

With our first load of roses safely delivered to an exhibitor earlier last week, I got my first look at the gardens outside on ‘Main Avenue’.

Many are now taking great shape, but there is little room to unload, as diggers and lorries are taking up every available space!

Many exhibitors have been at Chelsea for over three weeks now and one thing they are all very thankful for, is the very fair weather they’ve had so far.

As I unloaded the roses a very happy exhibitor whisked them away, arranging for them to be placed on their stand straight away.

The roses needed for this particular exhibit are single petalled and tend to flower early, so we’ve had to hold these roses back.

They are now just showing colour in the bud and should open perfectly for judging on May 19.

Back at the nursery, Michael has hardly had time to sleep, if he’s not spraying or feeding the roses, he’s busily moving them from the hot glasshouse to the cool glasshouse, then moving any of the advanced flowering roses into a shaded tunnel.

At this critical point I am very pleased with all the roses as they all seem to be at that perfect stage, whichever glasshouse they are in.

Now it’s up to us all, as a team to create the lovely stand. Individually placing 1200 roses in the perfect position, making them look like they’ve been growing naturally in that setting for years.

For those of you fortunate enough to be going to the Chelsea Flower Show, make sure you look at one of our arches, as we will have placed at least 50 roses on it to make it look as natural as possible. It takes around seven days to complete the exhibit and only four hours for us to dismantle it come the Saturday evening!

Let’s hope that we can bring another gold medal back to Norfolk, I can assure all you readers, that we will do our very best.

Ian Limmer is Peter Beales Roses nursery manager.