Prince Harry checks out Chelsea garden plans in Afghanistan

Prince Harry, who is flying his Apache helicopter on a four-month tour in Afghanistan with the Army Air Corps, has been studying horticultural designs in his spare time.

The prince's Sentebale charity that supports orphans and vulnerable children in Lesotho has commissioned a garden at next year's Chelsea Flower Show.

Chelsea gold-medal winner Jinny Blom, who is Prince Charles’s favourite landscape gardener, is creating the garden – and the charity has been running her designs past Harry.

The prince is apparently "very happy" with the designs.

The garden will include willows and pines and is said to draw inspiration from traditional Lesotho huts, hats and patterned blankets.

Blom said: "Harry was emailed my plans in Afghanistan by Sentabale and he liked them.

"He didn't suggest any amendments.

"We hope to see him at Chelsea. He's certainly very interested."

She added: "Lesotho has a fascinating landscape and culture that confounds one’s expectations of what makes a country African.

"Lesotho's climate is akin to that of Wales with which it is twinned - cool and damp, hence the need for wearing thick blankets.

"The garden is a contemporary evocation of the mountains, round houses and wonderfully unusual blanket designs that are the national costume. 

"I am hoping to express not only the beauty and rich culture, yet also the inaccessibility and fragility of the country."

Alice Lycett Green, of Sentebale, said: "Prince Harry has seen the garden designs and he is very happy with them. He is pretty involved in what we do.

"His father is a keen gardener, so we are hoping he has inherited his green fingers and will be able to attend the show.

"Jinny Blom has created a truly inspirational garden that we hope will raise awareness of the charity and encourage many people to support our work in helping the most vulnerable children in Lesotho."

A Clarence House representative confirmed that Harry was keeping a close eye on plans for his garden that is being sponsored by garden centre chain B&Q.

He said: "As founding patron of Sentebale, Harry is being kept informed on the designs for the garden.

"He takes an interest in what Sentebale does."

Harry’s garden will almost certainly feature on the Queen’s route when she pays her annual visit to Chelsea on opening day next summer.

And Harry will have a special reason to make his first-ever visit to the show if he is in the country.

The Clarence House representative said: "It is too early to be able to say whether he is going to be able to attend the show."

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