The Diss Express area has enjoyed a trio of ‘royal’ successes at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show.
Diss resident Gary Breeze scooped Gold and Best Fresh Garden with a sensational design, while Peter Beales Roses, of Attleborough, also enjoyed a golden success.
Both exhibits were visited by Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and HRH Prince Harry.
Harleston’s local landscape firm Bespoke Outdoor Spaces was the third from our area to grab a gold.
One of the most unique designs on display to win gold was the work of Mr Breeze, a lettering sculptor based in Beehive Yard, Diss, who co-ordinated the project with Martin Cook, with the help of landscaper Chris Holland.
The ‘Antithesis of Sarcophagi’ garden is found within a 44-tonne rough granite cube, which was sourced from Portugal.
One face is painted with a mysterious inscription, while inside is a rejuvenated woodland, only visible from a small number of holes in its surface.
Mr Breeze said the seed of the idea was first planted ten years ago when he and Mr Cook created a permanent memorial of the victims of the 2002 bombings in Bali, Indonesia, which stands in central London.
Mr Breeze said the way the granite was extracted to construct the sphere was in cylindrical form, leaving an empty void inside a cube, with weeds growing up from the bottom. The pair agreed that concept would make a “fantastic” secret garden.
“From my point of view this garden came out exactly as we wanted it to be,” he told the Diss Express. “We got it just right.
The royals (Prince Harry, Prince William and Princess Kate) loved it. They were very friendly. They had great fun looking in through the holes and trying to see each other, and we had a bit of a chatGary Breeze
“This is the first time I have been here and we got a gold and Best Fresh Garden. What can I say?
“I am just in shock, I haven’t really slept.
“It is an extremely tiring thing to do, the whole process.
“The meaning of it is to do with the bombings. I think it is about the hope of rejuvenation after some sort of catastrophe.
Mr Breeze added: “The royals (Prince Harry, Prince William and Princess Kate) loved it. They were very friendly.
“They had great fun looking in through the holes and trying to see each other, and we had a bit of a chat.”
Peter Beales Roses have been exhibiting at the prestigious event since 1971 — and had the help of television gardening presenter Rachel de Thame and Martin Woods, Head Gardener of the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, to launch the latest addition to their Modern Classic Range at the show.
Rosa ‘Sandringham’ grows to about 150cm in height, and features medium sized, fully double, heavily scented deep pink blooms.
Ian Limmer, Nursery Manager at Peter Beales Roses, said: “It was a huge privilege to have the royal party visit our exhibit and I was extremely honoured to walk them around our display.”
The entry from Bespoke Outdoor Spaces was designed by award-winning gardener and television personality Chris Beardshaw.
The garden is set to be relocated to Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.
Bespoke Outdoor Spaces director Jody Lidgard said: “Its been a great experience again to be at the show, its the who’s who of the horticultural world.
“I’m very proud to be part of the relocation of the garden.
“With the help of DIY SOS we will be transporting the garden up onto a three storey roof as soon as the show is over.
“Its a real feel good story and a truly sustainable home for this beautiful garden.”