Geoff Whiten and Peter Seabrook join forces for eight grand pavilion gardens at RHS Chelsea Flower Show

RHS Chelsea Flower Show veterans Geoff Whiten and Peter Seabrook are working together on a series of eight gardens backed by The Sun and to be staged in the grand pavilion at the 25-29 May event.

The Sun at Chelsea Flower Show gardens have won £150,000 backing and will be the most ambitious indoor gardens at the show apart from Hillier's.

Whiten is building a 5x5m roof garden using plants from Folia. He has exhibited at Chelsea every year from 1975 to 2008 — the most show gardens exhibited by any designer. Whiten's sponsor Brett dropped out for 2009, leaving the designer "out of the loop".

He said: "I had a rest last year. Hopefully by next year the recession will be over and it will be easier to find sponsorship. It has been terribly difficult to find."

The Sun's eight gardens will include what Seabrook believes is the first to be grown by school children, with 100 primary schools being sent 100 containers sponsored by Morrisons. "I think this is a unique approach," said Seabrook. Two TV gardeners are being confirmed as backers.

A Morrisons-themed Golden Wedding garden in the supermarket's colours will be built by three generations of Jack Sexton's family, who work for Class Gardens. Sexton has won three Chelsea best in shows for Wilkinson Sword-sponsored gardens.

Capel Manor College and John Woods Nurseries will combine for a garden built at John Woods in Pettistree, Suffolk, and forklifted into Chelsea with no building done on site at all. Whiten's garden will complete one side of the avenue.

Birmingham City Council is behind four gardens being sponsored by retailer B&Q on the other side of The Sun exhibit. One garden will be from Mike Hinton and team at the council, themed around Dig for Victory.

Next will be a 2010 sustainability grow-your-own garden followed by a Help for Heroes garden showing Selly Oak Hospital's garden "demonstrating the restorative powers of gardens". The last is likely to be an aeroplane planned in carpet bedding.

Seabrook said: "Apart from Hillier, this is the first time that this sort of money has gone into the great pavilion."


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