"Top secret plant list" for Cholmondeley's Chelsea exhibit

Cholmondeley Castle Gardens and Mornflake will present their 'Temple Garden' in The Great Pavilion at Chelsea - set to feature a unique selection of plants that have never been seen at Chelsea before.

The Temple Garden at Cholmondeley. Image: Supplied
The Temple Garden at Cholmondeley. Image: Supplied

Plants will come directly from the castle's own gardens, created by Lavinia, Dowager Marchioness of Cholmondeley, who died late last year.

Lady Lavinia was made aware of Cholmondeley Castle Gardens' successful entry at Chelsea before her passing and was delighted that her garden would be represented. She had worked tirelessly over the last 65 years to completely redevelop the gardens, a feat honoured last year by the Professional Gardeners Guild.

Head gardener Barry Grain, who is leading the project, said Lady Lavinia "was well known for her ability to source fascinating and unique plants and, as such, we are incredibly fortunate to be able to present many intriguing varieties at Chelsea, which are sure to get [horticulturists] very excited".

"Being one of the few Northern gardens of its kind to show at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, we are able to bring a lot to the party with many of the varieties that we are taking from the garden itself growing at their best in our part of the world. Because of our geography, the garden is positioned on slightly acidic sand, allowing us to create a truly head-turning display."

For items sourced outside of Cholmondeley's private collection, Northern-based Brentwood Moss Nurseries is unearthing plant material on Cholmondeley's behalf. The recreation of Cholmondeley's famous Temple Garden will also include features from throughout the castle gardens, including a millstone path and ornamental oat grasses that will symobolise Mornflake's involvement in this historic garden.

The independent British oat miller, owned and run by the Lea family, represents the agricultural underpinning of the Cholmondeley Estate, celebrating their roots in the land that has shaped the two Cheshire families' history and longevity.

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