Kelways to celebrate 100-year milestone at this year's Chelsea Flower Show

One of the nation's oldest nurseries is celebrating a 100-year milestone at this year's RHS Chelsea Flower Show, having been part of the first ever show in 1913.

Kelways is one of only three exhibitors that have consistently shown off its plants and was present at the inaugural Chelsea Flower Show in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea during the reign of George V. 

This year’s show will play host to Kelways’ largest ever stand, 10m by 10m, which will be made up of four quarter-circle beds and will feature a restored Kelways’ archway from the nursery in Langport, Somerset, and a floral-display podium.

"Besides the usual peonies, Irises and tree peonies, the stand will pay homage to certain plants that James Kelway championed and was in no small part responsible for the development of," said a spokeswoman.

"In 1880 Kelways grew around 50 acres of Gladiolus and many of the modern varieties of these plants were developed from those original plants. The same is true of delphiniums as originally Kelways grew almost as many as Blackmore and Langdon."

Director Dave Root is heading up design for the Kelways’ stand and also supplying plants to garden designers and landscape architects such as Michael Balston, Jo Thompson, James Basson and Fleming’s Nurseries in Australia

Balston’s garden will be Kelways’ largest single project for this year’s show as they are growing all of the perennials, 4000 plants.  Thompson’s garden for FERA will feature 3,000 Kelways’ perennials and James Basson is using Mediterranean species grown from seed.


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